This I Believe

Lindsay - Ann Arbor, Michigan
Entered on May 14, 2007

I am a truly stubborn individual. For reasons still unknown to me, I think that I can, and should, do just about everything on my own. Until recently, this resolve extended to managing my depression. This is not to say that I kept my feelings to myself – I talked to my friends regularly about my constant insomnia, and I made light of the nights I spent feeling so crushed by the weight of my sadness that I was unable to stop my tears. I talked, but I could not listen to what they had to say. I could not accept their offers of help because I felt that in doing so I would be acknowledging my own weakness. It was only when my illness spiraled beyond my control – when my self-destructive thoughts became all consuming – that I was finally able to reach for the hands extended to me. And I believe, without question, that accepting the help of those around me has saved my life.

Perhaps the most frightening part of accepting help is that it forces you to know that you are loved. More specifically, that you are loved not because of your accomplishments, how much money you make or for any material measure that can made of a person. Instead, you are loved simply and purely for no other reason than that you are yourself, and that by being yourself you have affected those around you in subtle and incalculable ways. It makes you take stock of your own worth and humanity in a way that is both terrifying and wonderfully overwhelming at the same time. Accepting help reminds you that you are, in fact, only human and that that is enough.

In the twenty-seventh year of my life, I lost my mind. But I was also fortunate enough to learn one of the most valuable, and difficult, lessons that I think life has to offer. My name is Lindsay, and I believe in accepting help.