Asking for help can be so difficult for many people – often people who others turn to for support, so are used to being helper or carer, really struggle with reaching out for support for themselves and end up struggling silently.
We often find on the helpline that people who contact us say they know family and friends want to help but they don’t know how to vocalise what help they need as their role is usually being the carer or source of support.
It can be challenging seeing yourself as needing help when you are usually the strong one who people turn to.
What is important to remember is that seeking support/asking for help is not a sign of weakness or not being strong enough – it’s a sign of strength to know when you need help. We’ve all heard and probably repeated the sayings ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup’, ‘care for the carer first’ etc – but they are important to really reflect on.
It’s harder to advocate and seek help for yourself than it is for others – by nature most of us are very good at getting help for others, but not so much for ourselves – which is why reaching out to friends, to family, to organisations like Tommy’s is so important. There is no one size fits all – sometimes a friend is the perfect solution, other times a partner or family member and sometimes speaking to an anonymous person on the phone, like our helpline can help – a listening ear to ‘off load’ on and get support from.
We know from some of the calls we receive on the helpline how willing and wanting friends and family often are to help – but feel they may be overstepping by broaching a subject.
By talking about needing help, you can open up that conversation and will often find that people who know and love you have been there poised to help if needed.