In the personal development and self-help community, there is a lot of talk about taking care of yourself, being your own boss, being the parent to your own inner child, and having your shit together—basically doing everything yourself. We often forget the beauty in the vulnerability and tenderness of admitting we might need help.
I am writing this from personal experience. Today, I felt extremely overwhelmed. I am currently in a situation where I am 26 years old and living back at home with my father. This morning, for the first time in a while, I just didn’t want to get out of bed. I’ve battled with mental health issues ever since I was a teenager, and they are largely under control, but today I was burnt out. I’ve been working so hard lately with building myself up at such a fast rate that I just began to collapse. I needed some help.
I didn’t really know how to ask for it, but I did. It felt a bit embarrassing being a 26-year-old woman, while still somewhat young, also feeling too old to need her father to come to her rescue and to admit that I was not okay. My dad asked what I needed and came to my rescue with a sandwich and some coconut water because I was just too exhausted to even get up and make food.
I’m single right now, so I don’t have a significant other to help take care of some of those needs, and honestly, I might be afraid to ask because I don’t want to be seen as weak or like something is so wrong with me that I can’t function the way other people can. To be honest, maybe I’m too easily impacted by my surroundings, but it seems like all anyone can talk about is self-care and having all your shit together all the time. Well, I’m coming out to say that I don’t think that’s possible. At least not for everyone.
Sometimes it seems like we are all supposed to be emotionless robots in order to function in society. We almost have to put on a show where we are confident all the time and always have our shit together or else be very good at blocking out external stimuli.
That’s really not who I am. I am highly emotional. It’s what makes me a good writer and overall a very caring and sensitive person. I’ve tried millions of strategies to cope with stress and burnout, but it seems there is just some part of my nature that is very easily affected by my surroundings to the point that if I do too much and try to do it all on my own to boot, I will crash and burn.
It’s in those moments that I am beginning to accept it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with me. It means that I’m human. I need help sometimes. I need love and care from others. I need support. We all do.
I don’t want to go on pretending I’m perfect all the time. Maybe other people really are just better equipped at handling modern life than I am, but I’m learning to make it work for me.
After today, feeling how much that love and support from my father lifted my spirits, I don’t think it’s merely a want, but a human need to feel cared for, loved, and supported (almost like a child again) from time to time. It makes life worth living to care for others and to be cared about by others during hardships.