Commentary: Everyone needs help sometimes

Gazette/ staff photo

Gazette/ staff photo Jordan Blaire

  In a society where we tend to showcase the highlights of our lives on social media, internalizing our struggles has become the norm.

  As someone who’s lived most of her teenage life struggling with depression, anxiety and an eating disorder, I know I’m no exception.

  When we’re younger, we simply run to our parents when we’re faced with a problem, because we’re sure they have all the answers.

  As we get older, however, it’s not uncommon to feel like they don’t understand, and in the age of social media, we begin feeling like no one else feels the way we do.

  I remember countless nights sitting alone in my room, looking at all the smiling pictures of people I knew online and not understanding why my life didn’t seem to be the same.

  Even the inspirational influencers, who spoke about getting over struggles in life, seemed to have dealt with their problems by themselves.

  But it seemed that no matter what I did, I couldn’t get over the pain I felt – but I refused to ask for help.

   Whether it was the fear of people looking at me differently, judging me or seeing me as weak, I simply couldn’t express how I felt to anyone else – I couldn’t accept help.

  Even when I was diagnosed with anorexia, I refused to accept anyone’s help. I resented my therapist, pushed my parents aside and told everyone I would handle it myself, that I didn’t need their help.

  It wasn’t until one night when I was alone in the bathroom, unable to breathe, crying, and looking back on my life that I realized I couldn’t do it alone.

  So I told my mom. I asked her to come sit with me, and I cried. I cried for what seemed like hours, and she sat there, listening to me cry, listening to me ramble on incoherently, and she was able to make me feel OK again.

  A few days later, I started therapy again, and I took it seriously.

  A month or two later, I started opening up to my dad, and I started feeling like my family was able to understand who I was.

  It took until three months ago for me to start antidepressants, something I feared for years, because I didn’t know who I was without my depression. I thought it would make me seem crazy, and I was still afraid of help.

  Now I can say that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve been able to open up more to my friends, become closer with my family and feel like myself without being held back by an invisible force that brings me down.

  Accepting help is still something I struggle with, it’s something nearly everyone struggles with.

  We have this idea that needing help makes us weak or incapable, when in reality it only makes us stronger.

  Accepting help can strengthen relationships, it can give you new perspectives and ultimately only helps you grow.

  Needing help is something society needs to switch its outlook on. It’s something people shouldn’t feel ashamed about needing.

  The reality is that we all need help sometimes.

  Whether it’s for something as small as tying your shoes, or overcoming something a large as depression, it’s all valid – and it’s all important to help us learn and grow.