Guest Author - Tracy Hamilton
Sometimes life can overwhelm us and seem to swallow us up. We are prone to Ďgetting on with ití for fear of being seen as useless or unable to cope. So we battle on, and resist calling on others for help or support.
It takes strength to ask for help, and to know when you need it. Generally we all need some stress or motivating factor to achieve things on a day to day basis. However, if you are coping with a mental health challenge and other things start to pile up, it wonít take long until you are over run with too much to do, and may exasperate your symptoms or stress levels.
Firstly, it is important to be kind to yourself and acknowledge what is too much for you, then ask for help. Hopefully you have people around who you can turn to for support, or there are agencies, carers and advocates available to help you. If not, it is important to put some strategies in place. Talk to your doctor or local mental health agencies to find out how and where you can get support from.
This can be the most difficult step, as it is common to see yourself as weak or a failure. However, when you have people around you, generally they want to help you, and would be upset to know that you are struggling and didnít go to them for help. Likewise with agencies, they exist because they know the value of the service they provide.
Another crucial factor in knowing when to get help, is to notice if the over-whelm you are experiencing is affecting other people around you; are children being affected, is your health at risk or any other factors that could be detrimental to yourself or another? If this is the case, then it is even more important for you to seek help.
When we get vulnerable to ourselves and really ask for what we need, we can then allow ourselves to receive love and help from others. When we keep them at bay and wonít let anyone help us, they can feel inferior, useless, that you donít trust them or that you just donít want them interfering in your life. These thoughts can cause people to pull away and leave you to get on with it. People will only take rejection for so long then stop offering to help.
There is always a balance of give and take and there is always a way of repaying kindness; with a cup of tea, flowers, kind words and appreciation or a gift that you feel is appropriate. The trick is not to give back as a way of feeling obligated or guilty for asking for help; only give back as a way of expressing gratitude and thanks in whatever way is good and healthy for you.
When we ask for help we allow others to express their love for us by helping us. They feel good about themselves and happy that you trust them enough to let them help you. However, no-one likes to feel taken for-granted so always ask without expectation of the other.