This is a tough topic for me to write about. Asking for help has a different meaning to every person. Knowing when something is out of control and needs correction means being able to identify the problem in the first.
There are lots of things I can point out about the positive and negative effects of requesting help. But they only matter if you follow one simple suggestion –
Asking for help doesn’t make you weak or wrong. It doesn’t mean you are a bad person or that you should feel shame in any way. Not asking for help causes you bigger problems than not.
I speak from experience. I asked someone for help and they proceeded to make fun of me for having done so. The amount of shame I felt as a result colored everything that ever followed.
They were wrong.
These days I ask for simple things. A ride to the doctors or a stupid errand to be handled. But I no longer sit down and tell anyone what is happening in my head. That simple, cruel act from my past has ensured that all the therapy in the world won’t correct my misplaced feelings of inadequacy.
It’s hard to ask anyone for anything.
That time, right after my daughter’s death, I only cared about getting help for the ex. I turned away every single question because I thought it would take away from others being able to help her. Not altruism on my part, just needed to make sure she was okay before I could allow myself to handle things.
Things for me got worse. I closed myself off to everything, anyone who might have been able to talk. By the time I was asking for help, it was being denied to me.
There’s help out there. I’m just too scared to let those close to me know I still need it. Or that I really needed it to begin with.