From as far back as I can remember, I have never been one to jump up to ask someone for help if I don't understand the concept at hand. To me, I thought that if I were to ask someone for help with something, that I was going to be deemed incompetent and that to me, was terrifying.
I really began to notice this in me as I entered college. Not only in my classes did I discover that I was weary to ask for help in any instance, but also in my mental health as well.
No, I do not say this for anyone to pity me, I say all of this for the girl that will one day be in my same shoes as I was, just last semester.
With the heaviness of a major that I was so unhappy with and my insanely busy schedule, I found myself turning into a ball of anxiety, something that seemed very foreign to me at first. The first real, and raw instance of it was the week of finals my sophomore year; I was sitting in the library, struggling to concentrate. The more I sat there, the more I started to panic. It was as if I wasn't in control of my body, and that I was going to pop at any second.
I rushed out the back doors of the library, called my mom, and sobbed to her, telling her that I couldn't quiet my mind and that I was extremely stressed out.
Throughout the end of that semester, and the semester thereafter, I found those little instances becoming big instances, ones that happened almost every week, or after every test I took. It wasn't that I wasn't prepared, it was that I couldn't quiet my mind long enough to tell myself that I, in fact, could pass that test, or get a certain grade in a class.
For the longest time, I thought it was me. I thought "come on Emilee" if you just pray this away, and keep quiet about it, its all going to disappear. It got to the point that after every single test I took, I would automatically call my mom and sob to her, telling her how incompetent I was. This was an everyday occurrence; a feeling that was so hollow and embedded in my mind that I would wake up in the middle of the night, nauseous.
I tried everything I could to get rid of this feeling, without having to ask for actual help from someone. I thought that I was in control of it, that I could change it at any minute.
And...... boy was I wrong.
It got to the point that my mom had to come to stay in Charleston with me for the last stretch of my finals. I couldn't bear to be alone while feeling like this, because I knew my body, and I knew that when I shut down, I was done.
That was when it hit me, I actually need help...
I actually suffer from something that is for the most part, out of my control.
I remember specifically calling my mom one day and saying, "I'm done feeling like this." I'm done stopping myself from asking for help, just because people might not see me in this perfect light anymore.
I set up an appointment with a therapist, and boy did it change everything. That was the turning point of stubbornness and my inability to ask for help. I needed it, and I needed it badly.
I have had two sessions of therapy thus far, and I can honestly say that it has been the best thing. At first, I saw it as a sign of weakness, but have come to learn that real strength lies in your ability to step outside of your pride and ask for help.
I have learned that I suffer from anxiety, and to me, that was a breath of fresh air when it came out of my therapist's mouth. Now, I could finally voice what I was suffering with. It wasn't a foreign concept to me anymore, it was there, laid out on the table, clear as day.
Maybe you are like me, afraid to ask for help, in the fear that it might tarnish the image you've been trying to uphold for so long.
My advice to you would be to brave the courage to ask for help, as I believe it is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of raw, courageous truth.
Pray about it, oh boy, pray about it all day long and declare The Lord's sovereignty of it all, but also take the necessary steps to keep your mental health your top priority. There are doctors and nurses and therapists who are all here to help you, as long as you have the courage to ask for it.
Ya won't regret it, promise.