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

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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

Originally published: January 19, 2019
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