Today’s Self-care Challenge: Ask for help.
I have been doing really really not so well, and one of the things that was Not Good about the situation was that I was hiding how I was feeling from everyone that I know except my therapist. No one really noticed and no one asked me how I was – because I am good at hiding it from these people. So it took a few weeks and some work with my therapist to figure out how to overcome the instinct to hide and say “Hey, my brain chemistry is telling me everyone hates me. Do you hate me? If you don’t, would you mind giving me hugs and tea and watching bad tv with me when you have the time?” Asking for specific help, to my mind, works much better than asking for vague help for two reasons: 1. the person knows exactly what to do, which means they are more likely to do it, and 2. when they do the specific thing you asked, you know it is a gesture of love and support very concretely. When that friend gave me a cup of tea after I asked for support, I almost cried because here was a gesture directly saying “I heard you, I care about you, I want to help you feel better.” I don’t feel better yet, but I do feel like I have support, which is an important difference from how I was feeling before.