Needing help is okay

Sometimes we have to lower our head and admit that we are not invincible. As much as we would like to get by on our own, without being a burden on anybody, sometimes we just need help.

I had to admit I am far from invincible at the beginning of last week, when I was admitted in Rutland hospital because of a mental breakdown.

Did I want to go?

Not at all.

I let Public Safety drag me to the emergency room, with the strict condition that I would have been back to class by the next day. Why would I have needed a hospitalization, anyway? I was doing okay. I was going to class, I was getting my homework done, I was eating, I was doing everything I needed to do.

I would wear my best smile every morning, making sure to have it on by the time I got out of the door. I would find time to be social, keep myself busy, surround myself with noise so that the voices screaming in my head would not sound so loud. I was high functional.

The problem with being high functional is that it is a tricky game that you cannot play forever. The lightest blow of wind is all that it takes to make that castle of cards crumble, and there you are, naked, in front of the whole world.

People start noticing, they start staring. Suddenly you start forgetting to keep your sleeves down, people start asking what happened to your arm. You stop going to the library so much, you start being late with your assignments and missing class. You forget to eat.

People wonder if you’re okay. You try to hide the purple lines under your eyes with make-up, but it doesn’t really work; people start asking if you’ve been sleeping. You decide enough is enough, and you count up how many pills it will take for you to leave. Everyone will be better off without you anyway. I was no longer high functional.

I did not get back to class the next day; I wound up spending the first week of October break in the psychiatric unit. I will not lie, at first I hated it. I thought there was no use in keeping me there, me being locked up in a hospital was not going to fix my problems. It didn’t: but it made me realize something important. There is nothing wrong with needing help. There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help.

Being high functional is very overrated.

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