No Shame in Seeking Help
Hello everyone! Sorry, I neglected this blog in the past period, but there has been a lot going on in our community church. Although I love serving other people, sometimes the everyday needs of people do not leave enough time to engage in updating this blog on a regular basis. Nevertheless, serving people is my calling after all, so I am certainly happy to do my calling. Anyway, I would like to share a recent experience with you, concerning a woman who was grieving. I hope it will inspire you to reach out for help if you ever need it, and understand that there is no shame in asking for help.
A few days ago, a woman called me to ask for help. Her best friend’s dog had died and he was grieving. However, he was too shy to ask for help because he thought it was embarrassing for a grown man to get depressed over the loss of his dog. In fact, this is far from being an exception: in general, men are less likely to seek mental health help than women. But it is important to go beyond stigma like this and to understand that people cope with different things differently. While for some, a wartime experience could lead to post-traumatic stress, for others it could leave no lingering effects. For this man, his dog was his only companion for over 10 years. He was not married, he had no children and lived alone. So it is not so strange that he had developed a deep attachment to his dog.
I have written before that sometimes when people go through grief, the pain is so overwhelming that they forget to take care of themselves. They can even forget to take care of their most basic needs or to maintain personal hygiene, including bathing, brushing their teeth, or washing their hands. This was also the case with this man. When I went to visit him, he was in an awful condition. It was apparent he hadn’t been maintaining his personal hygiene. Even though at first he was a bit embarrassed over his situation, after I shared with him that I have met many people that go through the same things and that there is nothing unnatural about this process, he started to open up.
We chatted for about three hours. A lot of sorrow and pain were released, but I was pleased to see him willing to get help at least. We agreed we would meet again next week. In situations like these, it’s important to encourage the person to take control over his own life and to feel like they are still valuable and needed in the world. For example, since he was a mechanic, I encouraged him to help me find a tankless water heater for my home, and he said he would be glad to help out. He referred me to some websites such as tanklesscenter.net, which I promised I would browse before our next meeting. He even promised to help me install it once I buy the model I prefer. This, of course, does not mean that you should always encourage the person undergoing grief into doing all sorts of things. This will depend on how severe the situation is, and sometimes, it is understandable that it will take a while before the person decides to get involved in everyday activities again.