Listen, I am the last person to ask for help. I would honestly rather take on the entire burden of the task ahead of me rather than asking for help. A perfect example of this is the ways my husband and I decided we would raise our kids- utilizing the grandparents as childcare. We came to the agreement that we would only utilize them when it was absolutely necessary. It is very normal in the Filipino Community for multiple generations to live together where the grandparents are the daily childcare while the parents work or the kids get dropped off at the grandparents house for daily childcare. This childcare negotiation is usually free of charge, which is extremely helpful in today’s world.
The husband and I weren’t comfortable with any of these arrangements, so I became a stay-at-home mom and would only work if I could find a time when the husband was home.
While we have sacrificed having luxuries at times, we have what we need.
After all of my self-diagnosing, I did a mental check up with myself:
- Was I a danger to myself or others? No
- Do I need help? Yes, but I am terrified.
- Who can I tell first? My husband
When I finally decided to talk to my husband about my struggles, it took me an entire month to muster up the courage to do it. I was so anxious about telling him that I told him while he was in the shower because I felt the glass between us would not allow him to feel my shame, anxiety, and guilt. After I muttered the words I think I have depression, I sank to the floor of our master bathroom and cried myself into a ball.
It was the lowest I have ever felt in my life. My sweet husband stopped his shower, dried off, and picked me up off the floor and gave me the biggest hug. He asked sweetly if I was sure and I nodded still hysterically crying. “Ok,” he said, “we will get you some help. Don’t worry we will do it together,” he said assertively.
This positive response to my need for help is not always the norm, especially in the Filipino community. As I’ve said in my intro post, those with mental health issues are often mocked, laughed at, ostracized, or decide to hide their feelings in fear of dishonoring their family. If you have thoughts of self harm, please, PLEASE know you are so loved and wanted. Contact a person you trust IMMEDIATELY and share how you feel.
If you can not think of a person you can trust, here are professional options for you that can get you the help you need immediately:
How to reach out
If you can not think of a person you can trust, here are resources for you that can get you the help you need immediately:
- Call your local law enforcement or dial 911
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255
- Lifeline Chat
- Hospital Emergency Room
- Mental health facility
If someone shares their mental illness symptoms with you, please be a supportive listening ear. The reason I was able to to begin accepting and managing my mental health is because someone acknowledged what I had to say. It is not easy sharing the darkest thoughts of yourself. If you don’t know the right things to say, just tell the individual support them. A listening ear goes a long way.
Have you shared your struggles with someone in the shower or another random place? Comment below. I’d love to hear your story!
The series continues…
Come back next week as I go through the some of the different resources available to you. Do you know someone that needs a listening ear? A shoulder to cry on? Be that person for someone today.