When you least feel like reaching out, you need to the most
by Fe Robinson
In times gone by, we lived in close knit communities, where we had repeated contact, in person, with the same people. It was easy to notice if something was up with those close to us, we could literally see it.
For many people this is no longer the case. Loneliness is an epidemic. Many families and friendship groups are geographically dispersed. Much social contact is mediated by social media with all its sugar coating and editing. These challenges put more of an onus on us to proactively reach out when we are not OK.
And yet, feeling lonely, low, anxious or otherwise emotionally unwell can leave us vulnerable and even shamed. You might question what people will think and fear judgement. You may worry that you will be rejected or even ridiculed. You may not want to lose your mask of coping or appearing strong or perfect.
I know from both my own experience and experiences of many clients over years, that the times when you feel yourself doubting and drawing back are exactly the times when you need the people in your life to step up and support you. They can't do that if they are unaware you need or want them to.
I know it can feel uncomfortable, and risky, but if you need support, go ahead and ask for it. If asking your loved ones doesn't feel OK then seek help from a mental health professional or your GP. No-one deserves to feel alone, but you may well need to take the first step to feel otherwise.