Ask

Have ever had one of those days where the thoughts are just running crazy through your head? How about one of those days where you think that no one can possibly feel the way you are feeling right now? Things can seem overwhelming with so many thoughts and emotions. And you end up feeling completely alone because everyone else seems to have their lives together.

The big question is when do we stop and ask for help. Asking for help is difficult because we always think that we can get through whatever we are going through without it. We also don’t want everyone to know the things we think or feel. What if they think we’re weak or crazy? Maybe others won’t understand what we are going through. Maybe others will judge us and make us feel like we are worthless or stupid for feeling the way we feel. Maybe we are the only ones who feel that way and there isn’t a point in asking anyone else about it.

I’ve gone through some rough things before and I’ve been down the therapy route. I am a big proponent of it. Eventually, I stopped going to therapy for the simple reason of living too far away from her. I haven’t looked for a new therapist in the meantime because I was doing much better and I was able to cope with my problems without help.

Even having gone to a therapist before, I still hesitate before I ask for help. At some points in my life, my problems were extremely obvious. I feel like others will judge me because, right now, I don’t actually have anything really wrong with my life. But, in holding back anything I’m feeling, I alienate myself.

I realize I’m happiest when I’ve connected to others who can understand the thoughts I’m having. I realize I feel better about life when I know that I am not alone in anything.

My point of this article is this:

You are not the only one who thinks it. More people than you know are dealing with different thoughts or feelings. Even if we feel alone, we are not.

It’s okay to ask for help.

Why I Can’t Change My Facebook Profile Picture To Support France

A few days ago, unnecessary violence happened again in multiple countries in our world. After the explosions and shootouts in France, almost everyone on my news feed changed their profile picture to the colors of France’s flag in order to show their support for the country in this horrible time.

I haven’t. And I want to explain why.

It’s not that I don’t support France. Or any of the other causes that have happened where you could change your profile picture to show your support. And I want to expressly state that I am not judging anyone who does change it. I’m positive that it helps the people in these countries or situations to see so much support from people all over the world. I know I would feel better if it was me in that situation.

It’s not that it doesn’t affect me. I literally started crying when I was reading what happened. The people that got hurt were people who were just doing what any of us could have been doing that night. They were in restaurants, watching concerts, hanging out. We went out the night after and all I could think is what would I do to protect my daughter if something like that happened where we were. Because, as we have seen through so many of these violent tragedies, it could have.

It’s because I can’t do anything to stop it. Changing my profile picture won’t stop these people from hurting innocent people again.

When my friends started changing their pictures and colors to support France, I thought about it. That “try it” button is so easy to press. But I couldn’t press it. Because all I could think was “Is this all you can do to help?”. I felt guilty and sad because I don’t want that to be all I could have done to make their pain less, to make things better for those people. I want to be able to do more.

I hate the fact that I feel so helpless in these situations. I wish I could gather up all of these crazy people and keep them away from everyone and everything good. I honestly believe the majority of people and all of the religions in the world are good. I want to live in a world where I can raise my kid and not worry for her safety because the people around her would help protect her as opposed to want to hurt her. Unfortunately, we don’t always live in that world.

But we do live in a world where others do need our help. And, as I feel almost every time after some horrible tragedy happens, we need to figure out how we can help.

I keep trying to figure out what I can do. And until then, I can’t do something that doesn’t physically make things better for the people who have gone through it.

If you have ideas or suggestions, maybe it’s time for us to start trying to make a change. Please share your thoughts on how we can do this together.

A Cultural Norm

For those of you who have grown up in America, we are taught to do everything ourselves. Our goal in life is to be independent. It actually can become a problem because we don’t tend to ask for help even when we do need it.

Something else I encountered on our trip to India which is very different than what we have here is the idea of having servants. Almost everyone has them. Someone cooks, someone cleans, someone helps you with the kids. It’s very much the cultural norm.

Every day I’d sit for breakfast and someone would bring me food and coffee just by my request. It was very weird. I’m sure, on some level, it would get easy to get used to having so much help but on my 2 week trip, it wasn’t. There was a day when we returned from a shopping trip and we had a lot of bags with us. I did what I’d normally do at home which was grab all the bags I could and take them to my room myself. I did notice that a few people tried to help me but it just didn’t feel right having someone else carry my stuff.

It’s one of those things that is just a part of the culture in India. I can see both the good and the bad sides of having servants. On one side, there is a class system in place and there are people working for you. On the other side, these are people who are getting a good job, food, and a roof over their head. They have the opportunity to make money for themselves and their families that they might not otherwise have.

I don’t know if there is a solution or a chance to change this or if it’s something that even should be changed. I just wanted to mention it because it was definitely something out of my comfort zone while we were traveling.

Depression

Yes, it’s real. And yes, it can happen to anyone. 

Depression is one of those things that unless you’ve been through it or know someone who has, it’s hard to understand. Someone may look like they have everything but sometimes, it’s not about that at all. Whether it’s based on a chemical imbalance or life circumstances, depression is one of the hardest things to battle. It’s especially difficult because it doesn’t have physical symptoms. It’s hard to see. And it’s really not all that hard to hide. 

I don’t want to discuss the hows and whys someone falls into depression. My bigger concern is how does one get out of depression. 

Have you ever gotten into a fight with someone? And no matter what, that person wouldn’t listen to anything you had to say? Depression is like that. Only you’re fighting yourself. You sit and tell yourself that there is no reason to feel like this, that everything is going well, that you are loved by many. Yet, for whatever reason, it’s hard for you to understand those exact words. It’s hard to feel okay. 

And it’s okay. It’s okay to be depressed. I think the first step to getting past it is to admit that you’re going through it. And I know that that is a really difficult thing to do. I have a hard time admitting it because I don’t want to ever feel like a failure. And being depressed especially when I know things are good or that I’m making moves in the right direction still makes me feel like a failure. 

I’m a big advocate for therapy. I think that that is the next step. 

Another thing that can be done is reaching out to people who will understand. If you know someone or have friends who you know understand these feelings or have training in the mental health field, reach out. It’s hard because when you’re depressed, it is really hard to reach out to anyone. You want to go under a bed and disappear. But getting help is really important to getting out of this state of mind. Knowing you aren’t fighting the battle alone is important. 

Depression. It sucks. But it is possibly to get past it. I have before. 

Getting Help is Hard to Do

We’re Indian. We’re self-sufficient. We never need anyone to help us with anything.

Right?

Why is it so hard for us to ask for help when we need it? Whether it’s from people we love or professionals in the field? Do we think it makes us weak? What happens if people do see us as weak? The world must end, right?

I am a big believer in therapy. Enough that even though I am past the really black hole I used to be in, I still go once a month just to get whatever thoughts I have in my head out. And of course, I didn’t choose to go even though at the time it was strongly recommended to me. It took a good friend of mine giving me no choice and forcing me to call around that got me there. But I have to say it helped. I recently went through another bad experience and I honestly believe that because I learned how to cope better through therapy, I didn’t stay down as long as I would have before.

Our society and culture tends to look at something like therapy a sign of weakness. Plus then, people know there is something wrong with you and your family. It takes people a while to really understand the value of going plus the value of getting help. We are all human. Asking for help is acceptable. There will be people who don’t know how to help or don’t give you the attention you need. But there will also be people who will be there no matter what.

The more people accept that getting help is not a bad thing, the more acceptable it will be to get it. It’s time to stop worrying about what our society might think and do something that is good for you. If this helps you figure out your life and get support and make you happier, who is to say it’s wrong or bad to do it? Those who say that it makes you weak or looks bad on your family don’t fully understand your situation. Who are they to say what you do or do not need? Life is a complicated, sometimes overwhelming journey. If you can get through it completely on your own, you might actually be a superhero. Wait, I’m pretty sure Batman and the Hulk could have used therapists as well.