This morning I had a phone session with a counsellor. I scheduled it a week ago. It was rescheduled a few times (I imagine they are busy) but it finally happened today. It was really early this morning but I was happy to have the conversation.
In the first place, I had been apprehensive to call. It’s a public service and surely there are other people who need the services more? I didn’t want to call. Right now, there are people struggling with employment, illness, travel, childcare, family care, the list is endless and there doesn’t seem to be a timeline. My thought was that why should I utilize the services when other people may need them more?
In the end, I did reach out for help. The entire world is dealing with an unprecedented circumstance in our modern global society. The entire world. That doesn’t mean that I am not still struggling with my medical condition and the fact that just over a month ago I had no idea if I was going to have brain surgery. That doesn’t mean that I am not an extrovert bound inside to the life of isolation. Compound all that. Compound the things that we don’t know about for each and every person. In addition to compounding that, it’s not like winter, or a storm, or an elected politician, where we know that there will be an end.
Even with all the compounding, I still felt that my fears didn’t have the value that would be needed to make the call for support. I was minimizing my own needs. I was silencing myself and my real fears. I was self-isolating more than being trapped in my apartment is. At a time when I might be able to casually speak with people about what was happening, I couldn’t bring myself to reach out about the things that were keeping me up at night (or alternatively, making it so I couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed). I could talk or listen, but when it came to the real things (and yes, epilepsy is ALWAYS one of those things), I couldn’t come to it.
I have been doing everything I thought I needed to. Creative outlets. Athletics. Eating healthy. Drinking less alcohol. Chatting with friends. Online shopping (to have something to look forward to). Somehow though, I was still overwhelmed with how I was feeling. I didn’t know how to ask for help and I was apprehensive to. After having done it now though, I am so very happy with myself that I did.
No question about it, this is a very challenging, scary time for everyone. And every single person deserves the supports that are available. Don’t minimize your value and your needs.
If you ever think you’re in a situation that is an emergency, call 911. If you live in Canada and want information or resources, look at this link: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/mental-health-services.html In the United States, resource and information is available at https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/find-help/index.shtml (and I am sure there are more).
If you think you need it, call someone. Call a friend. Call a volunteer line. Call emergency services. Right now is both different and the same, for everyone, and our needs are still valid needs. Don’t let yourself (or anyone else) convince you otherwise. Every single person right now should reach out for support if they need or want it.
If nothing else, find a new, weird hobby. Not that I don’t already have some, but my newest one is to jump off my couch and try to land like a superhero. And just think, this is with me having cut out drinking. I’ll post a video once I am good at it (and have a suitable costume).