You Don't Have To Hit Rock Bottom To Ask For Help
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Health and Wellness

You Don't Have To Hit Rock Bottom To Ask For Help

It shouldn't take reaching your breaking point to start making your life easier.

You Don't Have To Hit Rock Bottom To Ask For Help

A lot of stories that you hear about someone's journey to recovery start with, "I hit rock bottom and I just couldn't take it anymore." As someone who has been at rock bottom (on more than one occasion), I completely understand that hitting that lowest point is often the motivation needed to make some serious changes in your own life. Sinking lower than you thought you were able to is the kick a lot of people need to get help, whatever that help may look like for them.

But what if we didn't need to hit rock bottom to get help?

I feel like there's a lot of stigma around "getting help." It doesn't matter what you're currently struggling with, whether it's depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, or any other kind of intense stress or mental illness. You don't have to wait until it's unbearably awful to reach out for help. There's this mentality of, "I don't have it bad enough," or, "This situation isn't terrible enough yet for me to go and get help," and it's incredibly harmful.

Whether it stems from internal or external misconceptions, a lot of people believe that unless the situation that they're in is extremely damaging to their physical and/or mental health, they just need to suck it up and deal with it on their own. This isn't the case, though. As a matter of fact, most of us who struggle would have a much easier time of things if we reached out when things started to get worse, rather than waiting until things became terrible.

I'm not saying all of this to chastise those who hit rock bottom before they got help. I'm one of those people. I understand the mentality behind waiting until things become crippling before reaching out.

I'm saying all of this because if it helps prevent one person from becoming so overwhelmed by their struggles and their situation that they have to drop out of school, quit their job, harm themselves in some way, or push everyone away who cares about them, I'll have done my job. Reaching your absolute threshold, being pushed to your breaking point, isn't a requirement to ask for help.

As soon as things seem like they might be getting to be too much, start reaching out. When you start to notice symptoms of your mental illness surfacing, call your therapist, your doctor, your best friend, and ask for advice or assistance. When your plate seems like it's about to become unbearably full with school and work and life, reach out to your classmates or your advisor and try to come up with a plan. There are so many things that we can all do to make our lives easier and more manageable before we hit rock bottom, and we need to start actively making sure people know that.

More of us need to start reaching out to our friends not only when we start to struggle, but when we notice that they are starting to struggle as well. This is going to have to be a community effort, and it's going to take a lot of work and unlearning bad habits, but the payoff is worth it. We need to start letting ourselves ask for help before it gets to the point where we have no other option but to either get help, or go flying off the deep end.

You deserve to not have to hit rock bottom to get better. Your problems do not have to reach a certain, unwritten level of severity before you can ask for help. Never let anyone, not even yourself, convince you otherwise.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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