Asking for help

There comes a time when we all need a helping hand and sometimes we don’t know how to ask for that help and other times we are too afraid to ask for help. I’ve asked for help many times and it has been a difficult thing to do, asking for help meant I had to be willing to take the help that was given to me. In the beginning I was reluctant, I was reluctant to ask for help, reluctant to take the help and most of all I was reluctant to acknowledge that I actually needed the help. Over the years though it has got easier, I have become more aware of when I need to ask for help, more aware of where to go for help and most importantly I have learned to accept the help that is being offered to me.

When things began to get stressful last week with the news that I would not be getting my surgery for another 6-8 months at least I broke and I knew I needed an extra bit of help however I was not really sure I wanted extra help. When I was discharged from adult mental health services after completing my DBT therapy I was delighted to be free, free from appointments both individual and group, free from DBT homework and glad that I was well enough to be discharged.

In July I received a phone call informing me that if I was in needed of an extra bit of support either before or after my surgery which was due to be in July I could contact the adult services and link in with one of the group therapists and that is what I did. Having had a very rough nighton Sunday I knew I needed to ensure I got an appointment and although I made it through self-harm free and although I wanted to continue to fight this battle by myself I knew that there is no shame in asking for an extra bit of support.

I have worked hard to get where I am today, 6 months self-harm free and working on month 7 and while I know I am in control and despite the confidence I gained overcoming strong urges on Sunday, I couldn’t help but feel that I am not invincible.  After making the phone call and arranging an appointment with one of the therapists I felt relieved, like I could breathe just knowing that I have taken that step, taken the step to reach out for help and more importantly knowing that I have been given that extra support.

Asking for help is hard but it does get easier, it becomes something you want to do because you have a desire to keep well and you have a desire to remain in control. It is that desire that makes you realise it is ok to ask for help, it is that desire that allows you to accept you are not invincible and it is that desire that encouraged to take that step that you know is the right step. I recognised on Wednesday that I needed an extra bit of support and it was Monday when I made it a top priority ensuring I got to speak to the therapist and ensuring I got the support I needed. Through it all I learned that even though I am not self-harming it doesn’t mean I don’t need an extra bit of help, acknowledging that and working towards prevention rather than waiting until I had lost control was a huge milestone and learning curve for me and for that, for that I can actually say I am proud of myself!
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