themighty logo

The Loneliness of Feeling Like You Can't Reach Out for Help

When you experience any sort of mental health crisis, it can be an incredibly painful and traumatic experience. During the times I felt like I was hitting rock bottom, I was lucky enough to discover I was surrounded by a pretty incredible support network. As I began working towards recovery, I felt less and less alone. People would check in on me, ask how I was doing and would genuinely be willing to listen. Eventually, I would start to feel better.

As I recovered and became stronger, however, the phone calls and texts gradually became less frequent. I understood and accepted this, because I knew my support network was still there. If I needed to talk about anything related to my mental health, all I had to do was bring it up.

But the longer I was in recovery, the harder that became. I enjoyed feeling strong and independent. I enjoyed not being the person that others felt sorry for. I enjoyed not feeling needy and helpless. So when I would start to feel bad again, I would convince myself I could do it on my own. I didn’t need to bother others with my struggles.

Recently, I’ve slipped back into a darker place. I’ve been struggling for weeks now, and although I’ve been functioning pretty well, each day feels harder and harder. Each day, I feel more and more isolated in my struggles. I’m fighting an uphill battle with an army of one. It gets exhausting after a while.

Every time I think about reaching out, I come up with dozens of reasons not to. I don’t want to seem desperate. I don’t want to be a disappointment. I don’t want to be the friend who’s constantly in need. I don’t want to be a burden.

I know that eventually I’ll get better. But right now I feel lonely and isolated. And I’m struggling to find the strength to ask for help.

Getty Images photo via Archv