I am starting to think I need a therapist. I say this knowing full well that there are plenty of people out there with more problems than me. But I learned last night, or it was pointed out to me, that I have little to no support system. A support system is the group of people that you can reach out to when you need help or support, whether it involves mom, a significant other, a best friend, or a therapist, you need to have people you can turn to to ask for support.
I have a very minimal support system. This is not by choice. I tell my mother a lot because of this. I have no best friend. In high school I attached myself to people with giant personalities who make friends really easily so when we all went to college, all my best friends found other things to do than to talk to me on a regular basis. I am completely accepting and okay with this, but it is true. I also make friends very slowly, so I am usually stuck in the place where I have a lot of people I say hello to in school or in clubs and make great conversation with them when I see them, but never am the person that gets invited to hang out outside of school or work or wherever I see them. So here I am, with basically my mother, who already worries about me too much, as my support system. So because of this I tend to keep a lot inside.
This can be a gigantic burden that can lead to exhaustion, a constant sadness that you cannot identify and things like that. And then if something big happens and adds to that, it can be really damaging to your emotional health. Which can in turn damage your physical health as well.
I had a conversation with a friend recently who told me that she recommended to people who had no support system to get a therapist so that they had that weekly upkeep of their emotional health so that when something devastating happened, they knew how to deal with it and where to turn. I think that is really important and I am seriously thinking about getting one myself. And that is because while I have minimal support system, it is hard for people to know that. In this same conversations, this friend told me that she wasn’t worried about me because I had such a great support system. I nodded when it was said but I am realizing now that she is so wrong. And the reason for that misconception is because I self care so well that I rarely show people that I really need help, and also that I feel like I am inconveniencing people when I ask for help so I never do.
Throughout my life I have mastered the art of hiding my need for help and trying to not inconvenience anyone. This is something that may or may not be able to change about me but I am realizing that until I find a real support system that I can depend on, I may need to ask for help from an outside force, like a therapist.
So if any of this resonated with you I suggest making a list of your support system, who you turn to in emotional crisis or when you are just having a feeling. Take stock of that and recognize whether you feel like you need a little extra, if you think that will help. I am going to do my best to start asking for help.