I Don't Want Your Help
By: Sarah Fader
Depression is a strange beast. When I feel depressed, I want desperately to feel better, but then again I don’t want to feel well at all. Depression is like wrapping yourself in a dirty blanket. On the one hand, the quilt is familiar, and it smells like you, even if that’s body odor and stale Doritos. On the other hand, you would feel better if you were able to wash the blanket. However, it feels impossible to remove yourself from that dirty blanket and throw it in the washing machine because you feel safe with it wrapped around you.
I’ve lived in that dirty blanket for days. I’m not ashamed to admit that depression has had its hold on me in a way that I’m not proud of and I didn’t seek help. People that I loved asked me if they could help me. Maybe they didn’t say anything directly, but they called, texted, asked how I was doing. I ignored the text or lied saying that everything was fine; because I didn’t want their help.
Sometimes I make a conscious choice to be miserable. I don’t want your help. I don’t want you to save me from depression because it’s comfortable. Whether it’s healthy or not I know what it feels like to be depressed and it’s familiar. It’s like the same horrible movie I’ve watched over and over again. I know how it begins I understand the climax, and I am not surprised when it ends. I also know that it will end. I know that depression isn’t permanent for me that it’s just a stage that I have to wait out.
That’s why I don’t want your help. I can do this by myself, and I don’t need you. I have a therapist. I have a psychiatrist. And sometimes I miss appointments because I don’t want to look at myself in the emotional mirror. Stop telling me how to take care of myself if I don’t want to be well.
I don’t want you to help me. Are you listening? I said I don’t want your help. Stop asking me, stop assuming that there something wrong with me that you need to fix. Just because I’m depressed doesn’t mean that I’m broken and that you need to superglue me back together.
Only, maybe I do want your help. I’m not saying it, but I’m thinking inside of my head. I don’t know what kind of support I need. I have to think about it. I’m not a danger to myself or others. They always ask you that when you go see a medical professional, whether that’s a therapist or doctor. They ask you do you intend to harm yourself or others? And I always answer no. Because I don’t want to do that.
I do know that I will get better. Just stop asking me what I need because I don’t remember right now. I’ll let you know when my brain stops trying to hurt me and tell me that I’m a loser. I’ll keep you posted when the repetitive thought of me being a failure relents. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for being patient and wanting to help me, but I don’t know what you can do right this second.
I want to help me. That’s what matters.
Sarah Fader is the CEO and Founder of Eliezer Tristan Publishing Company, where she is dedicated to sharing the words of authors who endure and survive trauma and mental illness. She is also the CEO and Founder of Stigma Fighters, a non-profit organization that encourages individuals with mental illness to share their personal stories. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Quartz, Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, HuffPost Live, and Good Day New York. Sarah is a native New Yorker who enjoys naps, talking to strangers, and caring for her two small humans and two average-sized cats. Like six million other Americans, Sarah lives with Bipolar type II, OCD ADHD, and PTSD. Through Stigma Fighters, Sarah hopes to change the world, one mental health stigma at a time.
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