When You Don't Know How to Ask for Help Dealing With Depression
The irony, right? Those who know me on a personal level, and even on a professional level to some degree, know how fiercely independent I am. In fact, I pride myself on this fact, because it’s a skill that took a lifetime to cultivate and one that many quite frankly just don’t possess. As great a strength it may be though, it is also a weakness. The same thing that fuels my life and success can be the very same thing that tears it all apart.
As some of you may have guessed, I’m going through a bout of depression right now; even as I type these words, I feel weak. I am forcing myself to conjure the thoughts and articulate them well, but it’s a struggle. My grandmother, Mary Rogers, passed about a month ago and honestly, it’s been an extremely difficult thing for me to deal with. The pain lingers, and for various reasons her loss has impacted me significantly. I’m sad. It’s really that simple.
I know, in time, the sadness and depression will pass and thankfully I’ve learned healthy coping mechanisms to help me through this period in my life. However, the truth is that it’s really tough. On a multitude of levels. The worst part of it though is that I don’t know how to ask for help, even when I truly need it. Truthfully, I don’t even know what kind of help to ask for. Technically, I’m doing all of the correct things. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) — think holistic and practical actions — seeing my doctor, working out, creating. Nothing is really “wrong” per say, I’m just down. It’s a strange place to be in because in many respects, I’m at an all-time high. My creativity is through the roof (although lacking the proper tools to create does add on to my depression) and I’m healthy for the most part, but I’m still having a hard time getting out of this funk.
I remember being in boot camp (U.S. Navy) and there was a test we all had to pass called “Battlestations.” The short version? It was a 24-hour run (no breaks or sleep) through the entire base, doing several different tasks. As we would run for miles to each station, we would have to carry this one heavy bag which we passed around to each other so one man would become exhausted. I was having a hard enough time as it was, just getting through the test, but then it came time to carry the bag. I already had two strikes against me (I fell asleep twice while standing during a briefing, and yes this does happen) and one more mistake meant I would fail. I carried the bag for a little while and started to slow down drastically. I knew I physically would not be able to do it, and yelled out, “I can’t carry it.” The strongest man in our class (I personally nicknamed him Drago, which is whom he looked like and reminded me of) took the bag from me and carried it the rest of the way. Suffice to say we all finished and graduated, but in my life, there is no one to pass that bag to. I have to bear all of that weight, and if I fail, I fail in life — not in a simulation.
I’m honestly not sure what happens next. Seriously, I’m in need of money, tools, privacy, support, counseling, opportunity and everything else in-between. I’m truly struggling, but how does a person like myself ask for help? Who do I ask? Why would such an independent person ask for help? I would like your thoughts, ideas and feedback. How do you ask for help? Do you ask for help at all?
I need help asking for help…
Previously published on medium.com.
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