You hear stories all the time of people who are seemingly living the perfect life – and then commit suicide. According to statistics in over half of the people that commit suicide, their loved ones and friends did not know that they were suffering from any sort of psychological pain.
In today’s world, saying to others, “I am not OKAY, people,” has fallen out of fashion and is looked at as a sign of weakness. Most of us have good days and bad days. But why is it that we are able and willing to share our good days with the world, but suffer in silence when we are having bad days? For instance, if you checked out most of your friend’s facebook pages, you would see that most of the things they post are clear indicators that life in their neck of the woods is fine and fabulous. And then, you hear weeks later about their divorce or financial disaster. What if instead of posting pretenses on their Facebook page, they asked for prayers or guidance or let the world know that they could use a friend?
Chances are that you have had a time in your life when you were facing problems and challenges and simply shrugged them off to the outside world. If a friend asked you how you were, you would likely smile and say that you were okay, or great even – only to be feeling awful on the inside. The pretense that your life is perfect, and that everything is running along as planned and expected, is one that keeps most people in need of help from others. from seeking it out or receiving it. And if someone cannot tell you when they need a shoulder to lean on, or is afraid to cry out of fear that they will be considered weak – chances are they continue to hide their pain inside their own heart.
According to several sources, men have a harder time reaching out for help in times of need than women do. But even women, afraid to seem incompetent, weak or inefficient normally wait too long to reach out for assistance. And sadly, whether the help needed is from a deep emotional issue or something as simple as needing help on a work project, or for someone to watch the kids for you while you are under the weather – few people have the necessary means to reach out. Today’s society revolves around capability and self-sufficiency and people that cannot handle the tasks at hand, or the things they are going through – feel as if they are failures in life.
Most people get help from a friend or family member when a situation turns dire and not until then. They turn to look for assistance when they are on the brink of a disaster or breakdown, and then realize with an epiphany how easily the help was offered by others. The thing is that while we are living in a society, which prides itself on self-sufficiency; we are also a society that cares deeply for others and finds deep satisfaction in helping other people. And these ‘other people’ include our loved ones, friends, and family members whom we interact with on a daily basis.
The problem often occurs because those in need feel indebted to the folks that they ask for help from. When someone asks another person for help of any sort, there is a shift in the balance of power that exists in the relationship. And for the person ‘in need’ this shift of power can be damaging. The trick is of course, to seek help from other people – whether professional or otherwise, that you trust will not make you feel forever indebted to them and that will not hold the assistance over your head for the remainder of your life. If your mom has a knack for reminding you of your helplessness, then you might want to go elsewhere. The key is letting people know that you are not okay – and then choosing the people who can best help you move forward.
Asking for help is NOT a sign of weakness. Saying you are okay when you really are not, only deepens the feelings of lack of competency and seclusion that people feel when they are in need of help from others. There is nothing wrong with pain, emotional or otherwise. In fact, it is part of the human experience, and something that each and every one of us has in common. Chances are pretty high, that when you open up with the realities of your own life – other people will do the same for you and you will quickly see that you are not alone.
Look, no one is okay all the time – no matter what sort of vibe they are trying to create. You have to begin to see the world as a safe place to exist, with and without your problems. Secluding yourself and staying immersed in any sort of pain or frustration WILL NOT help your situation. Go ahead and say it out loud. “I am not okay people,” and am experiencing a time of need. You might be surprised how quickly people come running to your aid, renewing your faith in yourself and in your relationships.