avatarAidan McCarthy



Help! Why Asking Feels So Hard (and How to Do It Anyway)

My struggle with asking for help

Photo by Rémi Walle on Unsplash

Do you ask for help when you should? How do you ask for help when you need it?

This is the March writing prompt by Scott Ninneman from Speaking Bipolar Publication.

It can be one of the most difficult things to do. But asking for help when you need it is liberating. Asking for help shows self-awareness of your shortcomings and commitment to personal growth.

I like helping people, but when I need help myself, I sometimes struggle to step outside my comfort zone and ask for it.

Asking for help scares me, but I do it anyway.

Mental illness is not something physically visible

The ingrained stigma around it makes it difficult to seek help. When you have a physical illness and can’t take care of yourself, it’s easier to ask friends to run some errands for you.

But with a mental illness, you often have the mindset that you have to do everything yourself. You have to be strong, and that strength includes accepting no help.

I never want to be seen as being weak or unable to take care of myself

But sometimes all you need is someone to talk to and free your capricious thoughts from the prison of your mind.

Sometimes your pride gets in the way. It’s important to be honest about how you’re doing, even if it means being vulnerable. Asking for help isn’t a weakness, it’s a sign of self-care.

I deserve to feel supported, and reaching out for help takes courage and allows me to thrive.

Be open and honest

There’s not one person on this planet who doesn’t have their own struggles and problems. Nobody is perfect. I’ve been candid on here about my bipolar journey. It’s like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

This is why I’m beginning to see that asking for help is the ultimate form of giving.

In my experience, people want to help, but they can’t help if they don’t know if I’m suffering or struggling

A direct request removes uncertainties, such that asking for help enables kindness and unlocks opportunities for positive social connections.

It creates emotional closeness when you realize someone trusts you enough to share their vulnerabilities, and by working together toward a shared goal.

Bipolar can come with restlessness, irritability, fatigue, and tension, making healthy communication difficult. This can create a distance between you and the people you care about.

Counseling can help bridge the gap

I meet with my psychiatrist and doctor regularly. I feel the benefits. It keeps me on the right track and in the right frame of mind.

By learning to manage your bipolar symptoms, you can build stronger connections and have more productive, loving conversations with those closest to you.

It’s ok if you're struggling to ask for help. Having people in your life you can rely on when you need help is a valuable gift. But don’t beat yourself up if you’re having a hard time asking for help.

Set a goal and actively work towards it, striving for small, daily, incremental improvements.

Thanks for reading!

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Mental Health
Helping Others
Self Improvement
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