It's hard letting people in, really, really hard. Well, it is for me anyway and I doubt I'm alone in that. This last few months I've become much better at talking about my depression, and more so again since I've started this blog. But, and this is the tricky part, I still find it incredibly difficult to ask for help at the moment that I need it most. When I'm upset, low, scared, I run through the list of people who know, who've offered countless times to help, and I just can't bring myself to pick up the phone. I'm not really sure why this is. I think in some way I'm still ashamed to be seen in such a state, although in fairness, I'm a pretty messy crier so I think I could be forgiven for that. It's an incredibly vulnerable way to be, all the pretence, all the happy front is stripped away. When I'm like that I feel utterly defenceless. But also I'm so conscious of making someone feel awkward, of putting them in a difficult position. Not everyone is cut out to handle a crying heap, I accept that, some people just don't know what to say and I don't want to find myself in the position of having to make them feel better when I can barely keep myself together. It's also a matter of trust. To actually allow someone see me like that......well, it's a big deal. It might not sound like much, but it really, really is.
But should I leave myself stuck in the horrors on the off chance that I upset someone? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say no. Today I didn't exactly ask for help, but when it was offered, I didn't refuse, which is kind of a new departure for me. I thought about saying no, about keeping my mess to myself, but thought better of it. I know it doesn't help to be on my own in that state, so I have to start being brave enough to let people see it, no matter how much I don't want to. I don't think I've left my friend scarred or traumatised, and I'm so grateful to her for just listening to me rant through snot and tears until I calmed down. That's what helps, what makes this whole ridiculous illness manageable - knowing that support is there. Listening is huge, Huge. When I'm in a state like that I don't need solutions, I just need to talk till I can find my way back to normality, or something like it. I'm pretty sure the next time I have a melt down I'll still find it hard to ask for help, but I hope I'll do it anyway. It's all part of getting better, of taking away the power that depression has over me.
Labels: compassion, honesty, listening, support