This week I would like to focus on seeking help and what that looked like for me. One thing I learned about myself while struggling is that I can be stubborn and don’t necessarily like asking for help.

I think this can be true for many of us – the idea that getting help is a weakness or sign of dependency. I had to learn that it is actually the opposite. And help wasn’t necessarily “professional” help either - seeing a psychologist or counsellor is great, but sometimes it’s easier to seek help from your peers or your family. If you are comfortable with sharing, it may be easier for you to share your struggles with someone who is close to you.

When I was really feeling my lowest, my first place for help was always those who are closest to me, like my mom and a few friends. My mom had gone through similar struggles at one point in her life and hearing her feedback and advice really did help a lot. Talking to friends and the people closest to me helped me realize that many people out there deal with different struggles but are able to carry on with their lives. Seeking help and confiding in those closest to me was a good way to feel grounded again and to figure out what changes I wanted to make for the future.

Of course, another more official form of seeking help is seeking help from a counsellor, psychologist or other doctor. When I finally reached out for help, I saw a psychologist. The first thing we talked about eased a lot of worry for me. She told me “Jordan, you’re not losing your mind, you’re not going crazy, and these struggles can come and go for most people.”

For someone who was barely sleeping and worrying non-stop if I was losing it, this was like winning the lottery. I remember the sense of relief it was just to hear someone say that. That visit was where I started to turn things around. We figured out some of the things that were bothering me and started to plan some lifestyle changes.

One thing I really liked as well was that they did not push medication on me and gave me a choice. I am always a little paranoid that doctors might just throw pills at me when I don’t want or need them. If I can figure things without medication, I definitely will. Medications for anxiety and depression are meant to help you get out of your own way, so you can make the changes required for your future. I used meditation, reading and exercise.

I think going to therapy or a counsellor for any issue can be intimidating and a hard step, but sometimes it is necessary. Going in, hearing some encouraging words and then setting out plan was a good way for me to stop worrying about the future and simply start living in the present time again.

If you want to beat any kind of depression or tough times, you will have to first be willing and ready for change. Change is hard, but it’s necessary for any sort of growth. That corny but true line about “what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger” really does apply…thanks Kelly Clarkson.

Thanks for coming back each week and for all your kind words in person and over social media. See you all again next week, and we’ve only got two more weeks until we Step Up!