I’m depressed. I can feel it wash over my body, my mind, my thoughts like a slow tidal wave. Thick, obsessive, drowning. It tucks itself into the cracks of my psyche and settles down for a long nap.

Can I fight it? Today, maybe…but another day when my defenses are down or I’m feeling the malaise of nothingness? Probably not.

I’m trying hard to verbalize my feelings, to ask (and accept) help when I need it, but that’s not me. Not at all.

My whole life I’ve done for myself. My parents raised me to be an independent doer, a self-contained problem-solver, a stand-on-my-own member of society. Asking for help does not come naturally to me, in fact it makes me squirm. 

I am loathe to rely on others for anything…including emotional support. My self-sufficiency combined with my introvert nature means packing away my feelings and emotions, stuffing them in the bottom of a steel box and locking the lid.

Nothing to see here, move along.

But this crisis – this viscous, heady life event – has forced me to chink my own armor and ask for help. “I’m feeling down today,” I say.

Four words. Out of my mouth before I can renege. Ok. That wasn’t so bad. I can do this. Right? Um, right. Sure.

Spilling some of what I am feeling does help. At least for today. I know I may have a long road ahead, but perhaps learning to unburden myself a speck at a time will be my takeaway.

Asking for help or sharing a feeling is downright terrifying for me, but it is necessary to my healing and to my next steps. I understand that now.

I am not in this alone – and truly never was – and shouldering this burden on my own was a self-constructed misstep: It is ok to ask, and I am not weak for asking.

But perhaps only in small ways, for now. My pride is likely to trip me up and saddle me with guilt. But that is a puzzle for another day.