It’s OK to Ask for Help
Since I was a little girl, I was always afraid of hurting others. I always tried my best to be a good person to everyone.
I remember when I was six or seven, I would have these thoughts that I was not happy about and they would bother me a lot. Years later, in middle school, I started getting other unwanted thoughts that I did not want to be thinking about. Years passed again, and during my high-school years, that is when the thoughts started getting worse.
However, the most pain I have ever felt was during my senior year. I believe it had to do with the fact that I was very busy because I had a job, I was in high school and dual-enrolling at the same time, and I had scholarship and college applications to complete, while being in numerous clubs and programs.
The thoughts were horrible and would ruin my day. I was unable to perform certain tasks because I was afraid that I would hurt others or myself. I never really told anyone besides a friend I had.
Unfortunately, we stopped being friends and I was all alone, battling my own thoughts. I always looked happy, and nobody could ever tell that I was suffering so much on the inside.
During my senior year of high school, I received good news that I could possibly win a scholarship. The person in charge came in to talk to me, along with the social worker at my school. I had to write an essay that would include some personal things; I wanted to write about my constant worries.
I ended up talking to the social worker about it, and she helped me find a therapist who would come every Wednesday to talk to me. However, she stopped coming, and to this day, I still don’t know what happened. Since I was a dual-enrollment student at my community college, they offered three free sessions with a therapist and I was able to contact them. The therapist said I could have generalized anxiety, which could explain why I worry so much about little things.
I was only able to have three sessions with the therapist, since school was almost over and I was moving to go to college. After I moved to college, I found out that they offer free counseling, and I was able to get an appointment. The therapist I had the appointment with said I could have OCD.
Before I met the therapists, I was able to do research of my own and each time, it always came up as anxiety and harm OCD. Being able to know what I am actually suffering with has helped me a lot, because I know I am not alone. The therapists have helped me a lot, and I am able to control my thoughts more now.
All of this is very recent, since I just started my first semester in college. I am 17 now, and I have been going to yoga classes, which has helped me a lot. My family would not really understand what I am going through, which is why none of them know that I have had three different therapists. However, I once brought up that I have these horrible thoughts and they really bother me, but after some time, it seemed like they all forgot about it and didn’t really take it seriously, so whenever any of them asks how I am doing, I always say I am good.
I decided to go through this journey on my own. Since I am under 18, there was some paperwork that required a guardian signature. Therefore, I scanned it for my father and he signed it. To be honest, I don’t think he knows what it was for. I am just happy that there are some amazing people in the world who are able to help me go through this, because I don’t think my family would understand what I am going through. To be honest, talking about my feelings can get really complicated since what I am going through might not make sense to someone who is not suffering with it.
My aunt was very supportive when I brought it up; she even asked my pastor to speak with me, and he recommended some therapists. However, I never saw any of those therapists, and my aunt does not really bring it up now, since I always tell her I am doing well whenever she asks.
I am an independent person, and I do not think I would have been able to get through this if I was dependent on others. However, my family is very loving and supportive, but in our culture, mental health is not really talked about. I am from a country in the Caribbean called Haiti, and I don’t think a lot of people there pay much attention to their mental health, since a lot of them are struggling to make ends meet. However, I was blessed enough to learn about mental health and to know what I am suffering with; I was also able to get the help I need.
I am still healing, but I hope that in a few years, I am happier than I am today. Life is beautiful, but sometimes it can be very hard. Also, nobody is happy a hundred percent of the time, so if anyone who is reading this is going through some tough times, just remember that it is going to get better.
We are all on this Earth for a reason, and we all have the power to change the world for the better. However, we have to start changing ourselves first—we need to take care of ourselves, mentally and physically.
It is OK to ask for help. Nobody can get through life alone. We need each other. Also, we only live once. Therefore, we need to be our best selves every single day.