“Please Can You Help Me?” The One Question That Saved My Life

Often people that need help look a lot like people that don’t need help.

Thrive invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

Often people that need help look a lot like people that don’t need help. That was me, I always wore the biggest smile and everything was always ‘fine’ or ‘great’ or ‘perfect’. But behind that positive facade I was unravelling. In 2018 my husband and I had just moved out to Dubai, and I gained a promotion at the Primary School I was working in. As my responsibilities increased so did my workload and to cope I applied my favourite success strategy – just work harder.

Asking for help never crossed my mind because it is something that I had never done.

Early starts, late nights and skipping lunch breaks became my new normal. I ignored the signs of anxiety, chronic pain and insomnia, determined to just finish one more project. 

Until the day that I could not do it all on my own anymore. I hit complete burnout.

When my Mum arrived in Dubai to support me she could not believe how quickly I had deteriorated. A shell of my former self, I greeted her with the words ‘I am going to go to jail.’ I was hysterical, I lied across her knees in the taxi and cried all the way back from the airport. I was immediately referred to a psychiatrist, and got diagnosed with severe depression and psychosis. 

Now I know that paranoia and psychosis are common effects of sleep deprivation, but at the time I thought I was crazy.

Over the 6 months that followed I visited numerous doctors and psychologists, in the Dubai and the UK, hoping to find answers but unwilling to be fully vulnerable. In many sessions I actually asked my husband to speak for me as I could not admit the suicidal thoughts that I was having. 

Although my family and friends guided me to many different forms of support I had never asked for help myself. But that changed the day my husband had to fly back to Dubai for work. I arranged to meet an old friend, and as we walked around the park I finally let my walls come down. I opened my heart, and was met with empathy and kindness.

For the first time I asked “Please can you help me?” The words felt like they came from the bottom of my soul.

My friend offered up her spare room and I moved in the same day. When I stepped through the door to her house I felt lighter, I felt hope. After months of deferring all decisions to those around me, I began to find my voice. I chose to stop taking my antidepressants because I had not experienced any improvements with them and I never looked back. In the months that followed I rebuilt my mental and physical health through daily rituals such as movement, journalling and meditation. Curious to learn more, I read avidly and listened to podcasts to find new ways to improve my sleep and wellbeing. 

Inspired to share these insights with others I retrained to be a yoga teacher and set up my company Charlotte Swire Wellness. My signature system is a combination of breath work, meditation and movement, underpinned by transformative habits to restore energy and elevate success. 

I truly believe that if I had not reached out for help I would not be here today.

On my healing journey I have realised that being able to give and receive help in equal balance is not only the key to preventing burnout, but is also an integral part of a happy and fulfilled life. 

“May you always do for others, and let others do for you.”

– Bob Dylan

Advice Anxiety Authority Magazine Business Career Advice Community COVID-19 Creativity Decision Making Education Emotions Entrepreneur Family Happiness Health and Wellness Inspiration Leadership Life Lessons Lifestyle Meditation Mental Health Mindfulness Motivation Parenting Productivity Psychology Purpose Relationships Self-Care Self Improvement Sleep Spirituality Stress Success syndicated Technology Unplug and Recharge Weekly Prompt Well-Being Wellness Wisdom Women Wonder Work Culture Work Smarter

    You might also like...

    The Thrive Questionnaire//

    How Criszel Ann Acuna Overcame Her Pandemic Slump

    by Criszel Ann Acuna

    Deidre Price On How To Leave a Lasting Legacy With a Successful & Effective Nonprofit Organization

    by Karen Mangia

    Kate Hix On How To Leave a Lasting Legacy With a Successful & Effective Nonprofit Organization

    by Karen Mangia
    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.