When you’re in the thick of negative mental health experience, talking to others might be the last thing on your mind. If you think of it at all, you might question what can be gained by doing so, or if you will end up feeling worse as a result of being vulnerable.
If it crosses your mind and you immediately hesitate, it may be because you may have experienced a less than welcome feeling when opening up in the past. You’re unsure about the risk, and as to not jump to an unmanageable place—you avoid.
Why You Shouldn’t do it Alone
Unpleasant mental health experiences exempt no one. We are all required to grapple with the punches life throws, be it at work, school, within our relationships, or completely to ourselves. Avoiding contact, intimacy, and vulnerability with others when we’re struggling is not always beneficial.
If you’ve never really been in a space where you feel that confiding in others will help, remember that there is never shame in speaking to a mental healthcare provider. We understand, however, that sometimes you need to break the ice before breaking the silence.
Opening up to friends or family about your challenges is a challenge itself, but it can be done, and it’s a GR8 place to start.
Start with a Self-Check-in
First, take a while to reflect on your feelings. Do you know where they come from, or are you confused and feel that they are somewhat unexplained? Is there a specific incident or person that you think might be tied to your feelings? Would you consider confronting it or them after some time reflecting and confiding in others?
Now, write your conclusions down. Even if your findings are questions with no answers in sight, empower yourself by documenting it.
Select a Safe Space
Deciding to share your experience and struggle with others can be terrifying. When you’re experiencing any mental block, you may have difficulty envisioning that it will go well. Don’t overthink it.
Trust Your Circle
Trust, as complicated as it can be, is quite simple. You know if you truly trust someone. Those who are capable of providing a safe space for you to confide in usually will not give you a reason to question it. If you find you’re questioning things with very little to no reason as to why consider that your defenses against trauma may be flagging an innocent play.
If you don’t feel that you can determine this on your own, or if you feel that you do not have a safe space to turn to, know that there are resources that many before you in similar situations have utilized.
If you feel that you can trust someone, but have only a very slight hesitation, the antidote to the unknown is honesty. Honesty will help to pave the way to those who can understand and help you deal with your truth.
Having the courage to open up to others when it has been difficult does not always come overnight, though it might. Have compassion and understanding that your feelings are normal, valid, and ready to be heard by someone.