I’ve never been good at asking for help. I’ve always thought that I could do things on my own, and prided myself for getting things done without any assistance. I can’t recall how many times I would have my hands full, trying to grab one more thing and struggling, and someone would ask me do you need help? My immediate response would be, ”No I got it. I’m OK.” I guess maybe a part of me wanted to seem that I was OK and that I was not weak.

And then I started suffering panic attacks. I stayed quiet, appearing that everything was fine on the outside, while inside my whole world was crumbling. I felt as if I were riding an uncontrollable roller coaster ride, yet I still could not ask for help. The belief that having a mental illness would somehow make me less than perfect kept me quiet. I didn’t want to bother other people with my problems. I’ve always been told I’m a good listener, but found that it was hard to open up about my battle with anxiety and depression.

During a particularly bad episode of uncontrollable crying, racing heart, and believing my whole world was about to end, a voice inside me finally said to ask for help. And so I did. What I found was such an outpouring of love and support from coworkers, friends, family and strangers. It made me feel less alone. Even if people didn’t understand why I felt this way and what I was going through, just knowing that I could talk to them about it without judgment or shame made me feel better.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new.

Barack Obama

And now it feels as if the dam has broken. I want to talk more and more about this disease because if you’re anything like me, you hide what’s going on on the inside, and make everything look good on the outside. You refuse help and think you can do it all on your own. You are strong and courageous. It takes a lot of courage to ask for help. There are those out there who will support you and who will stand by your side. When I started opening up about my anxiety and panic attacks, I felt less afraid and less alone. I actually started to feel better.

If you are struggling, please do not remain silent. Reach out and ask for help. If you really feel you have nobody to reach out to, please reach out to me. I will be your support. I will be your love and light and stand by your side. Namaste!