Remember: It’s not.
I want to make that abundantly clear. This is not failure.
Saying yes to counseling is a victory.
But it still can feel like failure because of the lie that says this proves you aren’t strong enough. That lie says you are weak and broken and beyond repair.
I struggle a lot with lies. I believe terrible things about my imperfections, about what they mean for my worth. So when I finally said yes to counseling, instead of rejoicing in my own bravery and willingness to fight for myself, I got stuck on one thought: I failed.
I failed to handle this all on my own. I failed to pull myself together, just like I forced myself to do every other time anxiety and depression tore me apart. I failed to just get over it. I failed to keep up appearances that I have my life together. I failed.
And maybe I did fail at those things, but I’m not sure they were ever things I was capable of succeeding at. We aren’t meant to handle life on our own. Pulling myself together only lasted for so long, especially when all I could do was put those same broken pieces right back where they came from. Getting over it didn’t help me walk through it or learn from it. And who really has their life together, anyway?
So, even if I did fail at these things, I’m going to learn to be OK with that. Because there’s one thing I didn’t fail.
I didn’t fail myself.
Saying yes to counseling means choosing something greater for myself than the struggles that have gotten me to this point. It’s going to be hard, because life is hard, but that doesn’t mean life can’t be good, too.
I’m choosing to be OK with the fact that I have struggles, but I’m not going to be OK with those struggles defining me anymore. I’m choosing to say when I have hard days. I’m choosing to see this as victory, because that’s what it is. I’m choosing to trust and hope for more in my life than the chaos, hopelessness, and shame that comes with not dealing with anxiety and depression.
This is a victory: a beautiful, life-changing victory that is as difficult as it is triumphant.
Some days that will be tough to remember. But I’m going to choose to stay focused on that victory and hold on to the hope of more victories to follow.
Needing help is nothing to be ashamed of and getting that help is a cause for celebration. Reaching out is a sign of strength. Even if you feel that you aren’t that strong, even if you feel like there’s no way you could ever take that step, trust me, you can.
You are worth it.