Oh man. This is something that I know many of us are guilty of. Okay, okay so we all know that it’s easier said than done, but I’ve recently learned a lot about asking for help even though the wee independent woman inside me was constantly screaming and making me even more stubborn! HA!
But in all fairness, I’ve learned how important it really is. We as humans, have for some reason adapted to believing that asking for help is ‘weak‘ or makes us appear to be inadequate to support ourselves. But in reality, this is not the case. It’s really the greatest and purest form of being human. We all know the stigma associated with mental illness and unfortunately this falls into this realm, which I know that many people in societies all over the world are trying to change, we can start by changing it within ourselves and within our circles. Especially in the case of asking for help when needed.
If you have those closest to you, that you trust and feel safe with, confide in them. Tell them how you feel. Whether it’s anger, sadness, hopelessness or stress, whatever it is, talk about it. What you’ll soon see, and of course learn, is how amazing a listening ear can be and how relieving it is to share your sorrows. How it can simply make your days somewhat brighter and the safety of knowing that someone has ‘your back’, makes a world of difference. This is also why therapy can be so effective.
Don’t be afraid to speak up, because people can and will surprise you. You may even find that the person you are confiding in has experienced or is experiencing the same. I often find myself confiding in my parents and family and the safety of their love and understanding is really all you could ask for. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to be open and honest about your feelings and I must say, talking to my mum always eases my anxiety.
I also, recently asked my best friend for help. I didn’t exactly say, “Hey, I need help.” Instead, I sat down with her one evening and told her that I was struggling with a few things. Her immediate reaction was, “Well I can’t fix that but this is what we can do!”
So a couple of days later, she fetched me and we shared a spot of lunch. We talked about all the things that I was struggling with and eased into chatting about what was going on in her life, and in that moment, we listened to one another and eased each others stress. The little things, the big things and so much more! We then spent the whole day sitting beside the pool, relaxed and having some good laughs.
If I hadn’t leaned on my best friend, I would have, most probably cried the day away, feeling miserable and stayed in bed. I feel like this is one of the many reasons that best friends are made for.
Asking for help and support is alot easier once you get past the silly notion of it being a negative thing.
Give it a try, ask for help and see what a difference it can make.
Not understanding her own mental illness, Klair embarked on a journey into the world of psychology, finding solace in the understanding of the human condition. She quickly learned how important it is to help others and to irradicate the stigma attached to mental illness. Klair utilizes her knowledge and her own experiences to write about what matters – mental health. Her writing became a huge part of her own personal recovery, and a means to offer insight, further understanding, and support to those who struggle daily. She chooses to write vividly, courageously, and honestly by exposing her inner vulnerabilities and fears in order to create more awareness. Klair also believes that there needs to be more exposure in light of mental illness in South Africa, specifically with regards to teenagers. She strongly believes in the importance of creating awareness in order to identify and prevent high-risk behaviors that could be a result of an underlying mental illness. Often, mental illness in this developmental stage of life is overlooked and put down to “teenage hormones”. Such assumptions are Klair’s personal bugbears and she aims to educate and alter people’s preconceived ideas regarding the topic. Changing the stigma associated with mental illness requires us to not only open up the conversation and talk about it but to action it too. She feels incredibly grateful to be able to write about her mental illness in the hopes of creating a safe community for anyone in need of help and support, and of course to change lives.
Klair, a kind-hearted and loving 27-year-old aspiring clinical psychologist, loves the simple things in life – the comfort of the ocean, long drives with good music as well as reading and writing. She is a deep thinker who encountered mental illness from a young age, having documented her own experiences in countless journals from the get-go she has decided to share her journey with the world.
You can find Klair over on Mental Health Matters More