Reaching out for support, the obstacles and the difficulties
A common theme I have found running through many who reach out for help in therapy is they either never reach out to anyone to share any difficult feelings, or they make excuses
on why they shouldn’t reach out. You might have said these same things to yourself “I don’t want to burden them” “they already have enough stress in their life” “she has kids and won’t have time to talk with me.”
To address the first one “I don’t want to be a burden” lets really look at the evidence for this. If someone is a true friend would they truly see you as a burden if you reached out to them in a time of need? How do you feel when a friend asks you for help, is it a burden or are you happy to help? I think your friend would want to support you and burden wouldn’t be in their thoughts about you.
Using this terminology may be a form of projection (I don’t feel worthy of love and support but this is too painful to address so I will project it onto them). Another great way to address this is to ask your friend directly, what would they say? I’m sure they would remind you that they want to be there for you. Just remind yourself of that! Remember when you don’t know the facts, be sure not to fill in the blanks with your fears and insecurities.
To address the other responses “they already have enough stress in their live” or “she has kids and won’t have time to talk to me.” This sounds like you are fortune telling what your friend will say or how she will react. I cannot imagine a friends saying “please don’t bother me with your stress I have enough stress in my life!” True friends want to be there no matter what is happening for them.
This becomes an excuse and trying to predict that your friend wont be able to help you even without giving them the benefit of the doubt. Again, why not bring this up to your friend to get clarity? If you aren’t sure about something always ask, you wil more than likely be surprised and relieved with the answer. For the second one “she has kids and wont have time to talk to me” maybe she could use a friend break to talk. Or you could text her and ask when a good time is for a chat. Find more flexibility in your thinking and don’t just write off friends as potential sources of support because you made up a story about them not being available.
It does take courage to be vulnerable and open up to a friend or family member about our fears, upsets and issues in our lives. If you continue to go down the path to not sharing with anyone or very few, those feelings will build up inside and cause you to feel stuck emotionally. IT can lead to physical issues such as digestion problems, headaches and high blood pressure. Remember to press the release valve when you need and reach out to a trusted person. The relief you feel after will be worth it and is an important component to your overall wellness.
If you struggle to open up about your feelings to others, help is available! The Therapists at Path to Hope Counseling can help you to build on this skill and releasee those pent up emotions. Reach out today at email@example.com