One of the things I hear often is that someone is reluctant to come to therapy because things are just not bad enough for that. My question is why does it have to be VERY BAD to ask for help. Why not seek help when things are just hard? Our culture sends this pull-up by the bootstraps mentality. The message is it is “weak” to ask for help. We must solve things on our own. Turning to a professional can be looked at as necessary only for a level of distress that is severe and debilitating.
My question to that is why? Why would we put ourselves in the position of suffering for a certain length of time rather than reach out for help? The longer we suffer the harder it is to shift the pain. Seeking therapy when things are just hard is the time to do it. Get support as soon as you can. Utilize your other supports systems also. Tell your trusted people what is going on. I suspect when things are hard many of us crawl into ourselves. We don’t want to be vulnerable or look weak or feel failed. Part of that is buying into what I call the social media lives of our friends. Meaning most of us don’t post about our hard stuff on social media. We post about the happy moments. It can be easy for people who are struggling to think that they are the only ones having any particular struggle. That is never true. I know when I became more vulnerable in telling my closest people my struggles I found most of them had experienced something like them. By a certain age, most of us have experienced grief, depression, and/or anxiety. When we normalize those experiences it validates everyone who has them.
I understand it is an act of bravery to be vulnerable when you are overwhelmed and have big feelings. However, if you find the people that validate you it will allow you to relax some and cope with whatever the issues are.
Therapists are here to walk with you through your struggle. If you find one that is a good match for you, they can help you address your struggles and feel less alone with them. And you don’t have to worry about being too much or being boring or not having a big enough problem for a therapist. We are trained to handle it all.
Let us normalize being open and vulnerable with our people, supporting them, and encouraging people to get help when things are hard.
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