For many people, asking for support is difficult. We judge ourselves and view it as a sign of weakness. We expect to be happy and to act as if there's nothing wrong. If we're in pain and could use some extra support but don't ask for it, we become unable to handle what life throws our way.
The reality, though, is that asking for support is a sign of strength, a sign of courage. It's where growth, openness and valor occur. I remember when I finally surrendered to my drug and alcohol addictions, an entirely new space and perspective on life opened up for me. I began to experience what true connection felt like. I asked for help and knew I couldn't beat the disease of addiction alone. This proved to be one of the most valuable moments in my life thus far.
What we must recognize is that we are worthy. We're all interconnected and need each other. This is how we thrive as humans. By asking for help and allowing others in, our connection to others and ourselves deepens.
Here are six ways to ask for help when you're in pain:
1. Send a text.
Sending a text to a family member or friend can be easier than picking up the phone. So if you recognize that you're in pain and need support, reach out. Maybe it means sending a text that says, "Do you have some time to talk today?" Then open the door for a conversation; put the power in your hands and be honest about what's going on.
2. Make a phone call.
Picking up the phone is a sign of strength. If you choose to do this, reach out to someone you respect and can confide in. Talk about what's going on and if you notice judgment of yourself coming in, accept it and let it go. Put yourself in the shoes of the person on the other line. Embrace self-love and compassion.
3. Write a pros versus cons list.
If you find yourself debating whether to reach out for support or not, write out a list of pros and cons. What are the pros of trying to handle this situation on your own, and what are the cons? Put the power of reaching out in your hands.
4. Look in the mirror.
By looking in the mirror, you're recognizing yourself. You acknowledge that you're worthy of being here and asking for support. Repeat the affirmation, "I am worthy and I deserve to be supported."
5. Write a letter to yourself.
In this letter, write down what you're experiencing; the emotions, the feelings, the pain. Put it all down on paper. Read it out loud to yourself and imagine if it were your best friend reading this to you. How would you react? What would you do? Treat yourself like you would treat your best friend and do what is best for you, regardless of what your expectations are.
6. Do something that grounds you.
When you're in a state of pain and suffering, a disconnection from the self can take place. In those moments you can search for external things to make you feel, which could be destructive. Think about how to ground yourself. Maybe it means meditating for 10 minutes, holding an ice cube in each hand for 10 minutes, standing in front of the mirror and repeating affirmations. Whatever it is, focus on grounding yourself. By doing this, you open up the space within to reach out.