For a long time, I felt like I didn’t have a support system to help me deal with my anxiety. When I look back now I realize it was my fault that I didn’t have that because I wasn’t letting anyone in to help me. I didn’t acknowledge that anxiety was a real problem for me and I didn’t talk about it. When I first started therapy, I remember feeling like my boyfriend of the time was the only person supporting me. I felt this way because he was the only person I had opened up to about it all. I had talked to my parents about starting therapy and my reasons for wanting to do so, but I never went into detail explaining my feelings to them. I am happy to say that I have finally let them in to be the great support system they are. Not only do I have my parents but I also have my sister and my friends. My ex-boyfriend was also a part of that system for a while. Every time he would catch me picking my fingers he would stop me by holding my hand. This also helped me become more aware of when and how often I was picking at my fingers. My mom, dad and sister listen to me when I need to talk about how I am feeling, and they always do their best to help me through my rough patches. My therapist, of course, is also a part of my support system. However, I am doing a lot better with myself and with coping, so we have started phasing out therapy so that eventually I don’t need to visit so frequently. I don’t know what I would do without this amazing support! So here a few things I want to say to you.
Don’t be afraid to let people in and don’t be afraid to ask for help. The people that love and care about you WILL NOT judge you or put you down. I know that was one of my biggest fears while dealing with this. Before you just sit down and say “I have no one to help me” I want you to step back and take a look around. I want you to ask yourself “Is there no one to help or am I just not letting anyone in?” I think if you step back and ask yourselves that question you may realize you do have people to help you. I know how hard it can be to let those people in but trust me, it feels so much better when you do. I also know that some people don’t have anyone in their life to help them with this kind of thing so I encourage you to take the time to search for someone or something that can help you. Seek out therapy or medication if possible. If you don’t have access to that try researching it. Try to find real people talking about their real problems. Don’t feel stupid for looking for someone like you online. I did it. I spent so much time in front of my computer trying to research anxiety and skin picking. I spent so much time trying to find someone going through something similar. It took some time, but I did find that help I was looking for. I found blogs and even just short comments. It’s really hard feeling alone and feeling like no one will understand. I felt alone for a long time and like I said I wasn’t letting anyone in to help. I looked for support online before I looked for support within my family because I honestly felt like a complete freak. I thought “Who else on earth could peel the skin off their hands and feet like me?” I am not a freak though. I am me.
Your support system won’t always 100% understand what your dealing with so be patient with them while they are patient with you. Anxiety is hard to deal with, and it can be hard to explain. Just imagine the conversation I had with my friends and family while trying to explain my anxiety and why I peel off my skin. Patience must be present on both sides. There isn’t anything wrong with us, and we are not freaks. We are just different, and we are our wonderful and amazing selves. Letting people in and asking for help does not make you weak! It makes you brave, strong and smart!
These are some quotes that I recently found and connected with.
“There is always a way through-even when the path seems full of obstacles”
“I accept with thanks the small gifts that others give me-a smile, a helping hand, a sympathetic ear”
“When I don’t know where to start I remember that starting anywhere is better than not starting at all”