When my anxiety first started, I didn’t think it was bad enough to tell anyone. I’m the type of person who feels like a burden if I need help with something. I hate asking for help. It’s, most likely, because of my constant guilt. My grandmother knew I had some worry, but I never told her how bad it really was. Support was the last thing I needed.
Or so I thought.
Fast forward to when it became worse, I didn’t have to tell anyone, because they knew. They could see my suffering. By then, I couldn’t even deny it. I was hurting physically and mentally. I wanted to be alone, because I felt lonely. Dillon knew, too. Bless his heart, he had no idea how to go about comforting me, at first. He did try, but it was going to take a lot of practice for him to master the art of calming a tear and snot covered woman. Lot’s of tissues were needed, but I couldn’t ask for better hugs.
Now, I do have the support I need. I regret not telling everyone, sooner. Truth be told, it probably wouldn’t have gotten this bad if I would have knocked down my walls. Too much pride, I guess.
You wanted the answer to the main question, though: Why is support so important?
For me, it’s because I don’t want to be alone, anymore. I want my family and friends to know and understand how I feel, that way when I talk to them about it, they know where I’m coming from. I want them to know my fears and why I’m hurting. I just want to be reassured, to be honest. It isn’t just saying, “You will be fine.” or “Everything is okay.” I want to know how they deal with anxiety. I want to learn how to cope and how they manage to overcome it. I always say it helps to know you aren’t alone. I strongly believe it to be true.
Support gives us the validation we need. It gives us the hope that we can make it, with or without others. We’re giving our own self-empowerment to others, basically. In my opinion, when we feel like we can’t use this self-empowerment to our own advantage, we pass it to someone in hopes that they can use it to improve our lives. Not because we are lazy, but because we, as human beings, feel the need to help or be helped, most of the time. Unlike children, who rely on their parents for simple needs, (and the complex ones from my kids) adults want to feel an emotional connection with each other.
While it’s important to receive support, it’s also important to give it. If my spouse was going through the same thing I was, I would want to help. If my sisters or brother needed a little bit of guidance, I would let them know they can count on me. I know what it’s like to feel alone with my waves of emotions. I don’t want anyone to feel that way. Be it my husband, family, friends, even strangers. It would only break my heart to see someone alone and scared, especially if they deny the need for support. That’s why I tell people to search for support systems. It is definitely more important than you think.
I know some of you may be hard-headed like me, though. That’s okay, it just means we want to be able to rely on ourselves. It’s good, but it won’t hurt to talk to someone every once in a while.
You may think you have no support, but there are people who are willing to set aside their activities to just chat a minute or two.
Reaching out is not a sign of weakness. It makes you a stronger person. You bond with others when you open up to people you can trust.
For more information about support, I suggest this post on Mental Illness Resources. There are some awesome points and explanations made.