When Depression Makes It Hard to Accept Help


Depression lies.

It tells me I’m not worthy, loved or deserving. I was doing OK this morning. That was until about 30 minutes ago, when my mom called to tell me that she, my dad and sister are coming to my house. They are bringing gravel for my driveway. (They are paying because I can’t afford it.) They’re going to cut my lawn. (My lawn mower broke about a month ago.) They’re also going to pull weeds.

They want to “give me a leg up” in her words. It won’t fix things, but maybe it will help. She reminds me of all the times this summer she told me to stay on top of the weeds. I tell her I know. She reminds me I don’t because they are still there.

They are coming whether I am home or not. I feel I have no choice. So I acquiesce. Within moments of hanging up the phone, I am in tears.

Depression tells me, “I don’t deserve their help.” Then it whispers, “or their love.”

I call my mom back in tears and ask her not to come.

“Please don’t come,” I say in a quiet but urgent tone through my tears.

She doesn’t understand why. I try to explain I don’t deserve it. She doesn’t understand how I can’t see they love me and want to help. They have wanted to help all summer, but they have been too busy with the business. She fails to convince me.

Depression is still whispering, “You don’t deserve it.”

Realizing she wasn’t getting through, she handed the phone to my sister, who tried to use humor to get me to “snap out of it.” She tells me they love me and want to help me. She doesn’t understand how I can’t see that. She goes on to tell me she will “shake me and snap me like a glow stick until I see the light.” (She probably would be funny if I was in a different frame of mind.)

I’m writing this in tears. They are coming over to help me in about an hour, and although I am grateful, I still don’t believe I deserve it.

Depression: 1
Me: 0

It took a few friends from a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) support group to remind me:

  1. We all struggle with accepting help.
  2. People in our lives will never completely understand our struggle, but their support and intention are to show you some love.
  3. Take a few deep breaths and say, “I am worth it. I am loved.”

It was emotionally exhausting for me, but the yard and gardens look so much better now than they did before. After my family had hugged me and we said our good-byes, I went inside and sat down and thought about how lucky I am to have them.

One of my friends from the support group also reminded me it wasn’t, “Depression: 1 and Me: 0,” since I had the courage to accept my families gift. So in the end, depression didn’t win. I did. It’s not easy to let other people help you, but try to find the courage to let them. If they are offering to help, then they care about you. Find the courage to let them.

Image via Thinkstock.

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