I am not always going through an episode, of course. I am most times just fine. Sometimes, very happy. I have great friends, I educate myself about mental wellness any chance I get and I actively try to remain above water.
But loneliness can be dark. Depression is dark. It takes everything and leaves you with nothing. It takes everyone and leaves you locked up in your mind alone, whispering lies to you about; your worth, invincibility and love (or lack therefof).
I have found asking for help to be one of the hardest things to do when fighting depression or anxiety. I have found that asking for help is sometimes something I want to do. Truly. But I just can’t. And sometimes, I don’t know how to.
Here are some things to guide with asking for help when you are struggling. I hope you find what works for you:
- KNOW THY DEMONS, KNOW THYSELF
You need to find out who you become when you are struggling with your mental health. Look back to previous crisis and remember how you weathered through. Remember the things that helped. Write them down. Read about what has helped other people who have dealt with similar occurrences and note the ones you think might work for you. Recognize the problem and find possible solutions while your mind is clear.
- THE BEST TIME TO ASK FOR HELP IS WHEN YOU DON’T NEED IT
Do not wait until you are in a crisis. The crisis usually takes away the will and ability to tell someone that you are struggling. So, ask for help when your mind is clear. Ask for help when you understand how your demons eat at you and when you can think of a few ways to stop them. Tell your friends and family the signs they should look out for and tell them how to help you when you can’t help yourself. Don’t do it tomorrow, do it today.
- HOW TO ASK FOR HELP
Being prepared before the crisis is helpful but actually asking for help with the dark cloud looming over is difficult. I realized this in a suicidal crisis, recently, when I told my friends I needed alone time to clear my head and they took my words at face value. Depression makes me am incredible liar, really. I didn’t account for this when I tried to prepare my friends before the crisis actually came.
I had no idea what to say to them, especially after having told them that I was alright. I had no idea what it was I needed from them anyway. Reassurance? A hug? Love? Like I said, asking for help when feeling like a burden is tough as shit.
I found a podcast. It spoke about how to ask for help because people hardly ever know how to. It explained how to reach out, including actual words to say or text. The particular podcast episode is an interview with Sam Dylan Finch, a mental health advocate. He came up with 10 Ways To ‘Reach Out’ When You’re Struggling With Your Mental Health. I hope it helps you too. Here are a few:
- “ I’M (DEPRESSED/ ANXIOUS/ SUICIDAL). I’M NOT SURE WHAT TO ASK FOR, BUT I DON’T WANT TO BE ALONE RIGHT NOW”
- “ I DON’T FEEL SAFE BY MYSELF RIGHT NOW. CAN YOU STAY ON THE PHONE WITH ME/ COME OVER UNTIL I CALM DOWN”
Reaching out is really important and can sometimes make all the difference. You are important and you are loved. You can beat this.
Photo by Tinnet Gwadah on Twitter.com