Asking For Help Is Okay

Today I did something that I've done less than a handful of times in my whole life: I recognised that I needed help and I was able to unashamedly approach somebody and ask for it. It might not sound like a big deal to some people but I'm usually dead set against letting people know the full extent of my problems for fear of looking weak or not in absolute control of myself. I'm the kind of person who will tweet about how bad I'm feeling but never bring it up in "real life" conversation with anyone, let alone people who are supposed to be there to help me deal with problems like therapists or teachers. It makes me feel embarrassed that I'm not able to cope with things and it's not something I really want to talk about with people I'm close to for fear of judgement or rejection. I've always been very aware of my own thoughts and emotions even if I'm not very good at fully understanding them. I know that they're there and can usually decipher the source of the feeling if I'm honest enough with myself. However, 95% of the time that I recognise that I'm struggling with something - whether it's educational, relationship or mental health related - I just bury my head in the sand (I've actually had friends refer to me as an "emotion ostrich" in the past so take from that what you will) and hope that it goes away. Which it never does, of course.


I've been feeling less than peachy for a while now yet continuing to sit through my therapy sessions with a smiley face whilst chanting about how well I'm doing and how good I'm feeling when in reality it's been the exact opposite. I've been having more bad days than good days and reverted back to some unhelpful behaviours. As well as food rules and rituals creeping back in I've noticed myself being mean to people I love so that they leave me alone. I've convinced myself that they'll be better off without me and if they won't leave then I should do everything I can to force them to leave because I'm probably going to relapse anyway and I may as well just rid my life of the good things now before they're slowly taken away by my eating disorder. Which is a bit rash, entirely illogical and definitely one thought that's been blown out of all proportion by my negative brain. I spent a long time yesterday thinking that today's therapy session was going to be like every other week - a battle of wanting to be honest about my situation but not wanting to look weak and certainly not wanting to let people down - and it made me really sad because there's nothing I want more than to be free of these shitty feelings so I can move on with my life. That's why I decided to be truthful when I was asked "how have you been doing?" at the start of my session. I was able to speak about my thoughts and my actions and it felt SO GOOD to finally get it all out there in the open, which really surprised me because I thought it would just add to the big black clouds gathering above my head. We talked a lot about my struggles, my options and what helpful coping mechanisms I could use. I realised that I'd got myself so worked up about how disastrous my situation was that I couldn't think clearly about it any more and it was digging me deeper and deeper into a bad place. Having someone else present perfectly rational solutions to problems that I thought were completely unfixable was somewhat frustrating because it left me wondering why I couldn't think of those myself, but more than anything it made me feel relieved to know that all hope wasn't lost. In fact, there are still a lot of good things in my life and they don't all have to end now just because I'm going through a bad patch. This time of year is always the hardest for me but I'm more equipped now to battle unfounded eating disorder thoughts and "logic" than I ever have been before and just because bad things have happened in the past during the summer months it doesn't mean that it has to happen every year for the rest of my life. I have the power to break the cycle now and that's what I'm going to try my hardest to do.

The most important thing I've learnt this year is that if there's a problem in any area of your life then it needs to be addressed in order to be fixed. Ignoring something doesn't make it go away and it certainly doesn't make you feel any better. That's why I'm writing this post - to let you know that if you're struggling in any area of your life then there will always be someone you can and should talk to. "A problem shared is a problem halved" is cliche and a bit annoying to hear but it's a good thing to remember when you're feeling trapped and isolated. Sharing your problems might not lessen them to any great degree but you can't always help yourself and sometimes you need the knowledge and support of others to be able to start to get through difficult situations. 

Asking for help is okay. Everybody struggles sometimes but more people than you realise will be willing to help if you're brave enough to let them know that you aren't doing so great. "Show yourself some compassion and give yourself a break" were the parting words at the end of my session today and it's something that I wanted to share with you all because I think it's important to remember that even when you feel like the worst human in the world, you aren't. You are loved and being kind to yourself is just as important as being kind to others. :)

Love, Hails.

8 comments

  1. Lovely post and I hope you do are able to continue on the path of that feeling of being able to openly speak about things that are bothering you!
    Lauren // OhHay Blogs!
    xxx

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    1. Thank you, Lauren, I hope so too! Hope you're well :) xxx

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  2. Hails I have been following you on twitter for a while now I am just about to tweet you. Its funny I feel like the weirdest thing has just happened stumbling across your post. I am 18 for the last couple of year I have suffered with anxiety and depression which has led to me having panic attacks. I isolated myself for a long time after being bullied at school. I moved to college and have just finished 2 year there. I met my best friend who is like a sister to me now. I see my anxiety and depression getting in the way of our friendship. I have tried to push her away but she is not budging and she has recently got her first boyfriend and although being happy for her I can't help but feel low wishing I could have her life (sounds stupid but every time she mentions him now I just say i have to go) she is supportive. I have had a bad couple of weeks with exams and that and I am continuing to take medication for depression. I made a call today to get cbt therapy something I should of done weeks ago but failed to do so but after reading your post Im glad i did the right things and accepted I need more help.

    Rianna (twitter: ririannx) www.fashionn-id.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you for commenting and the subsequent tweet! :) I isolated myself a lot at school too but college was a better time for me because of the people I met there. I completely understand what you mean when you say that you wish you had her life. I think it's a lot easier to look at other people's lives from the outside and see that they have all of the things that you wish you had but there will also be people (and I bet your friend is one of them!!) that wish they had things or qualities that you have! Don't sell yourself short and remember that your anxiety and depression don't define you - there are SO many positives that you have to give, to yourself and others, and one day you will also find a partner, I promise! <3 I'm sorry that exam times were tough for you but at least they're over now! I'm so glad that you've made the step to get CBT and I really hope that it works out for you! Sending you all of the love. Let me know how you get on please! xxx

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  3. Aw Hailey, I really hope you are feeling much more confident with yourself after typing all of this out.

    I've not experience exactly what you are going through, so I won't comment too much because I don't know how you feel. But, I have always found myself to be an 'emotional ostrich' too. I bottle up everything that upsets me, distresses me until nothing else can fit in the bottle anymore and it just cracks. I always found it really hard to talk to the people who I am closest too, I almost felt embarrassed by my problems as if they were silly things to worry about. I eventually vented to a stranger just because it was so much easier than talking to someone that I actually knew.

    You have such a huge following and such a massive support network, I'm sure from your friends and family, but also from people who have never even met you! Try not to be afraid - you can do this Hailey! And if you ever need a stranger to vent to... :)

    Carly x

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    1. I'm feeling a lot more relieved to be honest! I think confidence is a thing that is very absent from my life right now but maybe with time it will come haha :) I can relate to what you've said so much, the bottle definitely cracks for me too and then everyone thinks I'm overreacting or making a big deal out of nothing when really it's been building up for so long!! I'm glad that you managed to vent to a stranger though. I agree that it's a lot easier to speak to someone who doesn't know you and is entirely impartial to the situation - it makes using them as a "rational voice" at lot easier, doesn't it? Thank you so, so much for the lovely comment Carly and I hope that you're well! :) xxx

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  4. What a lovely, brave post! I hope you continue to write about things like this, it's so refreshing and comforting x I've nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award!

    katiegoodluck.blogspot.co.uk

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