Scripps Ranch and Bankers Hill Therapist Sara Cole.
Have you ever thought "it would be nice to take a break" or "I could really use some help" or maybe "I can't do this anymore"? But then comes the "but". "But it could be so much worse". You might even feel guilty that you acknowledge your struggles. There's no need to feel guilty for being human.
Why should things have to be worse than they are, in order for you to get some relief?
If you cut your hand, do you put a bandage on it? If you are bleeding, yes you do. But if the above logic applies, you should just let it bleed, because after all it could be worse. You could have cut your hand off, and that would be worse. But that doesnt even make sense. How have we come to believe that, in essence, we don't deserve help or relief... because it could be worse?
It seems that this is specifically applied to situations of emotional and mental struggles.
I cannot count how many times I have heard women say they are depressed, overwhelmed, stressed out but then, basically dismiss their struggles by saying "but it could be worse", as they wipe tears away.
I understand that it is a way of saying that they are thankful for what they have in their lives and that they know there are millions of people in the world who have harder struggles. That's great. It's good to be thankful and to acknowledge the real struggles of others. BUT, are you living your best life? Are you less deserving of relief than any other person? Just in case you aren't sure how to answer this, let me tell you the correct answer. No you are not less deserving. You should not sacrifice yourself to the stress, depression and anxiety gods.
You can want your best life. You can live your best life. That's not selfish. The better you care for yourself, the better you are at caring for those you love. If you are completely drained, you have nothing left to give.
The strongest, bravest thing a person can do is to ask for help, acknowledge their struggles, ask for and accept help. Don't suffer in silence. Don't look forward to your shower because that's where you "ugly cry", so no one sees or knows your sadness.
Therapy is a wonderful way to get help, be heard and understood. Some people wait until crisis to start therapy, but others avoid crisis by seeing a therapist on a regular basis in order to maintain their emotional and mental health. Consider trying therapy. You might be so glad you did. Oh, one more thing. Yes, it could be worse. But really, isn't it bad enough? There is no reason to wait and see how bad it can really get.
Sara Cole is a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego. To learn more about how she can help you or a loved one visit www.saracolemft.com.
Sara Cole has been providing mental health services in San Diego for 15 years. Sara specializes in working with women and teen girls to overcome trauma and major life changes, including postpartum depression and anxiety. She is also passionate about providing treatment to those whose lives are affected by the addiction of a loved one.