asking for help isn't a sign of weakness

asking for help isn't a sign of weakness

It's a sign of raw, courageous strength.

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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.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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The Selflessness Of Self-Care

It is OK to nurture yourself before nurturing others.

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Do you find yourself prioritizing taking care of others before taking care of yourself? I do.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Saiarchana, and I am a nurturer. Nurturing people is something that has almost become second-nature to me because I am so accustomed to doing it. I love uplifting others and being there to give them support when they are in need. I love giving support to others so much that I am even majoring in Psychology. Nurturing is something that is incredibly important to me. I nurture others because I don't want anyone to feel alone or unsupported.

But, sometimes I forget to nurture myself.

I used to believe that taking care of others involved sacrifice. This kind of sacrifice was my own energy and self-care. I lived under the belief that by pulling away and taking care of myself, I would be labeled as selfish. So, I kept on nurturing others around me.

Until I broke down.

I was giving so much support and care to others, that I had forgotten about me. I am also a very important person in my life. My relationship with myself is incredibly important, and I had forgotten that. I was so focused on pouring love and care to others, that I had forgotten to water myself with those same sustaining forces. I was getting drained and worn out from nurturing and giving love to so many people around me because I was neglecting myself.

When I realized what was happening, I finally understood: Love is not starvation. I do not need to starve myself in order to feed others. I do not need to neglect my self-care in order to care for and give love to the people around me. Nurturing others does not equate to neglecting myself. Because, once I neglect myself, I end up not being able to show up fully for the people in my life.

I read a quote by an influencer named Allie Michelle. Michelle said:

"Taking care of yourself is selfless. An empty well cannot give water to a village."

When I read this, it was as if my eyes developed clearer vision. I recognized that I believed that self-care was selfish when actually it is one of the most selfless things I can ever do for this world. When I am able to take care of myself, I am at a healthier and stable position to give care to others. When I give from a place of lack, I end up lacking more. Giving my energy to others when I am in desperate need of recharging my own energy will end up making me feel emptier. It is like the good analogy from Michelle's quote. I cannot give from an empty source. When I forget to give love and care to myself, I reach a point where there is nothing left to give to others, because I haven't maintained a solid foundation for myself.

Giving care to others should be a fulfilling experience, not a draining one. In order for it to be a fulfilling experience, I need to make sure I am not giving from a place of emptiness. I need to nurture myself because doing so will give me a stable foundation. So, I finally understand the key to nurturing others: making sure I am nurturing myself first.

So, what now?

I am going to continue giving love and care to others. But this time, I am going to make sure I am nurturing myself too.

I hope you nurture yourself too. You are worthy of the love and care you give to others.

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