Reaching out for extra support and admitting that you’re struggling isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign that you’ve remained too strong for too long. None of us are invincible, our minds and bodies aren’t made of steel, so we need to learn to speak to ourselves the same way in which we would speak to friends and loved ones faced with the black dog or any similar crises.
If a friend were to reach out we would be there for them in an instant, no questions asked. I, myself, have stayed on the phone and messenger late in to the night, refusing to allow myself to sleep before knowing that they were safe and in a more stable mindset.
So why must we constantly berate ourselves for struggling? Why must we insist on wearing a mask, putting on a stiff upper lip, while inside we are in turmoil? We wouldn’t try to walk on a broken leg or arm wrestle with a broken wrist, yet so many of us are of the mindset that a hypothetical plaster/bandaid can heal our psychological wounds.
I have recently reached out to the mental health Crisis Team, being in the midst of a breakdown. Unless you are experiencing borderline personality disorder yourself you will never truly understand the fluctuating moods and how low they can take you. As of this moment in time everything is dark, so very, very dark, and I cannot see a way out, a means of survival. I just want to be pain-free, for this to be taken away from me. I am emotionally and physically drained, empty, and I don’t quite know how to handle the plethora of emotions hitting me like a smack to the face.
Am I weak for reaching out? I don’t think so. While the stigma surrounding borderline personality disorder made me try harder to push through it myself, to my own disadvantage, I soon came to accept that I couldn’t do this without medical intervention. I’m in enough pain already, why would I want to make the battle harder for the sake of my own pride and stubbornness?
It is because of my speaking up and having a meltdown in front of a member of the Crisis Team that I am now back under the care of the Home Treatment Team, their role being to keep me out of hospital and away from being sectioned. If it were to come to my being sectioned, though, I wouldn’t refuse. I would gratefully accept their help in order to help myself through this.
So if you are struggling to keep your head above water, if the fight is too strong to go it alone, try to speak to yourself the same way in which you would speak to a friend or loved one, with love and compassion. Follow your own advice, be a friend to yourself, and always remember: It’s okay not to be okay.