So, I'm about to throw down some #realtalk. My fingers are shaking as I type, knowing I'm going to disclose some personal information, but conceptually I shouldn’t be buggin’; worrying about what people will think. I know lots of people are in the same or similar boat as me, yet this is still something we don’t really talk about. There’s lots of reasons why: stigma, fear of being seen as “less than,” the idea that help shouldn’t come in the form that it does.
Last week I started taking an antidepressant for the first time in my life. I was fraying around the edges due to some pretty gnarly life events from the past year. My coping skills are on point, and I know this. I was back in therapy. But the pressure from these life events of the past year, were too heavy even for someone so self-aware working in the field of mental health.
But I’m cool with it. So far, it’s helping. I don’t know how long it’s going to last. Probably not forever, nor will I necessarily need to take this pill forever. But for now, it’s cool.
I resisted this kind of help for so long. I probably could have asked for help in pill form 3-5 months ago. But I had to do it all by myself. Not a good coping skill (pick yourself up by the bootstraps, Josh! Um, no.).
I had to try something new to get the help I needed. So, I gave the self-stigmatizing voices in my head a little b&$^-slap and made the leap.
Bottom line, take the extra help when you need it (in general—I’m not necessarily referring to a pill), and sometimes, take that help even when you don’t think you need it. It can be difficult to get out of your own way when you’ve been slugging along, day by day, trying your hardest to do the right thing for you and the people around you. But you’re also human and perfectly imperfect. It’s okay to take a breather, recalibrate, try something new with some outside help, get back on the horse and see if that new thing is working. And if the new thing, your new efforts aren’t working, reach out again for help and try something else you haven’t tried before. Life is but a rehearsal. There is no “perfect” and there are mulligans a plenty. And there are lots of people who’ve been in your shoes who haven’t necessarily been vocal about their issues as of yet. Take the leap. Help is in front of your nose.