It doesn’t make you weak to ask for help….

29 Apr

A couple of years ago I fell into a deep depression and hit, what I’d consider to be, rock bottom.

In July 2010, I was laid off from my job and decided to go back to school full time to finish my undergrad degree. I did this rather than work in jobs that I was over qualified but undereducated for and thus always the first person on the chopping block come layoff season. I moved into my aunt’s basement and was sleeping on a twin size mattress with springs sticking me in my back every night while my son slept up stairs on the main floor of the house. For the 6 months that I lived there I cried almost every night.

I have lived on my own since I was 17 years old and for the first time in my life, I felt that I had failed. I had always been able pull myself up from my boot straps and “get’er done”. But not this time. My apartment flooded and I found myself unexpectedly without a place to live. The combination of unemployment and the money I was bringing in from my fitness business was not enough. I couldn’t even afford to get another apartment. Hell, if I’m being honest I could barely afford the place I was staying anyway.  If not for my aunt’s generosity I would have been homeless. At that moment I felt like less than a woman and less than a mother. This was a huge blow to my psyche. And I finally broke.

If you’ve never suffered from depression than consider yourself lucky. There is a commercial for depression medication that says, depression can physically hurt and that statement is 100% accurate. When you are depressed you feel as if you’ve been run over by a truck and everything is broken. The only thing is no one can see your injuries and no one knows how damaged you are. So you go on with life, untreated withering away on the inside while looking fine on the outside.

One day as I was preparing to take a bath I sat on the side of the tub and I wept. I would say cry but that word feels insufficient. I just couldn’t see a way out. With hope all but gone I wept and yelled at God while thinking about running the water just high enough to drown in.

Then I thought about my son. And I reconsidered. Or maybe God intervened.

Shortly afterwards, I started going to therapy. I finally realized that whatever was going on I was no longer capable of fixing it. Everything I did made matters worse. I wanted to drink and sleep my way through whatever was going on and wake up lucid and happy when it was all finally over. I wanted it to go away and I wanted to get over this gross and icky feeling that was nagging me and following me wherever I went.

For weeks I would go into my counselor’s office planning on telling her about all the stuff that had happened to me. Everything in my youth, teen and young adult years that had scared me, damaged and led me to being there. I would get to my session, sit down and before I knew it the grief would engulf me. I would say certain words, like abandonment, and then sit there for the remainder of my session red eyed and inconsolable.

Until one day my counselor looked me square in my eyes and said, “You can keep trying to get over the things that happened to you. You can pack them up in boxes and put them away neatly so you never see them. BUT as soon as you forget about them, and soon as you get nice and comfortable in this safe life you THINK you’ve created for yourself, you’re going to accidentally open that box or someone is going to open it for you and you’re going to have to deal with what’s in it. There is nowhere you can put it where it won’t eventually be found. So today, you need to make a choice. You can get over it or you can decide to work through it.”

That statement literally changed my life and is probably the reason I am back in therapy now. For the last couple of weeks I’ve just felt so overwhelmed. With life, with parenting, with finances, with love. Opposed to feeling like the fighter that I normally am, every situation has left me feeling more and more depleted. Though I wouldn’t consider myself depressed, I do know when life is too much for me to handle on my own. Everyone needs help at some point and I needed help. And there is NO shame in asking for help. So I put up my white flag, found a local therapist and went to work through my stuff instead of trying to get over it.

Why am I sharing this with you? Because I’ve recently been reminded of the stigma that comes along with seeking professional help and I want to do my part to remove the veil of shame and humiliation. I’ve seen marriages break up because people refused to seek professional help. I’ve heard of suicide attempts (failed and successful) because people just felt like they couldn’t cope but felt like seeking help was somehow not an option.

You wouldn’t try to cast your own leg if you broke it? You wouldn’t pull out your own wisdom teeth if you were writhing in pain? You wouldn’t perform open heart surgery on yourself if you had a clogged artery that was preventing you from getting blood flow to your heart? Then why deny yourself the help of a person who can make you well emotionally and mentally when you can’t do it on your own.

It doesn’t make you weak to ask for help. It makes you stronger. I’m not sure who I’m writing this particular blog entry for. But my heart felt compelled and I hope whomever needs to read it finds it.

Love and light,

The Mistress of All Things Fabulous.

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3 Responses to “It doesn’t make you weak to ask for help….”

  1. Eric Hill April 29, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

    God Bless you and your word. I’ve been there and have received tremendous help from my therapist. Your words spoke to many people today. It helped remind me that you can’t always do it alone. Asking for help builds strength and character. Thank You!

    • TheHittList April 29, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

      Thanks Eric! I really, truly do hope it helps someone. There is nothing wrong with getting professional help. I wish MORE people would. We’d have a lot fewer hurt people, hurting people. Love and light my friend. 🙂

  2. nualapthatsme April 29, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

    Thanks for being transparent!!!! People need to hear this. Getting help is best and seeking God.

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