One of the hardest things I’ve ever done was pick up the phone and call a psychologist’s office and tell them I needed to talk to someone. J had been suggesting it for a couple of years, and even when I was in free-fall it was difficult to accept that I needed help.
Another really difficult thing was talking to my GP and telling him that I was in trouble and needed help.
I’d waited too long, though, and ended up in the hospital for three months after nearly ending it all. While I was there, I felt very guilty about asking the nurses or Dr W for anything. You know what happened? Every single one of the health care professionals I dealt with told me to not be afraid to ask if I needed anything, and that’s why they were there. One of the nurses even helped teach me that it was okay to be a little assertive if there was something I needed.
I often felt guilty about taking up a space in the ward, too. The answer I would always get back was that I deserved to be there just as much as anyone else and if they thought I was okay to go home, they’d kick me out. I was there because I needed to be there.
It took me a long time to accept that, but it’s true, and if it’s true for me, it’s true for you, too. If you’re having troubles, go ahead and ask someone for help. There are people out there who want to help you. You don’t have to face your problems alone.
Let me repeat that – YOU DON’T HAVE TO FACE YOUR PROBLEMS ALONE. It can seem daunting, but all you need to do is tell someone that you need help. Talk to your doctor, go to your local emergency room, call your local mental health crisis line – just reach out a little bit and people will help you.
If I broke my leg, would I call someone? You bet I would. Mental illness shouldn’t be any different and should be treated as seriously as a broken leg or an infection.
So, if you’re having a really tough time, please pick up the phone and call someone. Start getting the help you need and deserve.