It's ok to ask for help

My husband called me today to tell me that Kate Spade passed away.

I didn't know much about Kate until I listened to an episode of NPR's "How I Built This" that featured her a few months ago. I couldn't stop talking about the episode and how she seemed like such a down-to-earth, hardworking, genuinely incredible person. Her story is one of inspiration and dedication. It made you want to be happy for her. And be friends with her.

I was really sad when he told me she died, but then he said "Yeah, apparently she committed suicide."

"What?" I said into the phone. "That can't be right."

"Yeah, everyone's reporting it." he responded.

I still didn't believe him until I got online and saw all of the headlines for myself. 

Why would someone like Kate Spade take her own life? In her interview she seemed truly at peace with where she was – content and satisfied. She even made light-hearted jokes and laughed with the host. She talked about her love for her husband and business partner and their little girl. She was a happy and successful woman, but on the inside she was dying. And no one knew.

I wanted to write a few words about this today because I think it's important. 

I started going to counseling almost a year ago. I probably should have gone sooner, but I told myself I didn't need counseling. That normal people like me didn't go to counseling. That only people with real problems attended counseling. 

But those are all lies.

We shouldn't have to be embarrassed to ask for help. We shouldn't be ashamed to admit that we don't have it all figured out. That we're not happy all of the time. That sometimes we get really sad. Or anxious. Or frustrated. Or lonely. Or lost. 

Or maybe sometimes we just need someone to talk to. Someone to help us navigate emotions we don't really know how to deal with. To help us figure out what's healthy for us. What makes us feel whole.

When I started going to counseling, I was terrified to tell anyone. For a long time, my husband was the only person who knew. But then I gradually told one friend. And then another. And another. And now, even though I still blush each time I tell a new person, I'm mostly open about my experience.

But I know there are people who aren't. I know there are people who would rather you catch them robbing a bank than see them walking into therapy.

I don't know why, but I know it's humiliating for most of us to admit that we need help sometimes. We think everyone else is fine. We think that seeing a therapist means we must be really messed up. But it doesn't. It means we're humans. With feelings and emotions and imperfections. 

So if you're struggling or hurting or lonely or confused or just need someone to talk to, today I want to tell you it's ok to ask for help. It doesn't mean you're crazy. It doesn't mean you have something wrong with you. It doesn't mean you're broken. It just means you are a person. 

And that's ok.

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