an authority figure in my life told me i needed counseling. i was 16, and the statement hit me like a slap in the face.
the thought that something was wrong with me – something so wrong that everyone could see it, was very distressing.
in my eyes, needing therapy was a sign of weakness. it meant that i was not capable of handling my own problems. it meant that there was something fundamentally wrong with me. that i was broken.
then the shrink told me i needed to be medicated. that threw me into further despair. not only was i incapable of handling my emotions on my own, i needed to be medicated in order to be able to function like a normal member of society.
only crazy people are medicated for mental illness.
or at least that’s what i thought.
i understand why people are so terrified of reaching out for help. i’ve been there.
but at some point it’s imperative to make the mature, healthy decision.
refusing medical attention that you know you need is never the answer. life is too short to spend it suffering needlessly.
knowing that you need help and then refusing it is not the “strong” thing to do. there is no “strength” in purposefully destroying your life.
rather, there is strength in accepting that we cannot survive this life on our own.
as human beings we are wired to need others in our life. we need parents to raise us, friends to guide us, families to support us. there is no shame in seeking counsel for a medical condition.
we don’t scorn diabetics for needing insulin.
we don’t shame cancer patients for getting chemo treatment.
and we shouldn’t frown upon those in need of medication to fix issues with neurotransmitters.
treatment doesn’t make you weak. taking the quality of your life into your own hands is not something to be ashamed of.
you can’t do this on your own. and that says nothing about your resilience or you abilities. it’s just the way we are.