I Need Help Right Away

Found here: two catch-all pep talks and a list of professional resources. It’s not the funniest page on the site, but if my lame jokes solved all the world’s problems I’d be in a different career.

I’m freaking out about something irrational or beyond my control:

First of all, take a few deep breaths. Just focus on slowly filling your lungs and pushing the air out again. If you want one of those breathing-pacing things, here ya go.

Ground yourself in reality. If you’re able to, go outside and take a walk, even if it’s just up and down the driveway. Don’t look at your phone. The internet is an awesome tool and one of mankind’s greatest achievements, but it’s also terrible for controlling your emotions. We’re all sensationalists here; a good deal of what we say on the internet is exaggeration. It’s not real.

Once you’re back, or if you can’t go out, think about this: for thousands of years, humans lived on this earth without Tylenol. Without indoor plumbing. Without air conditioning, for crying out loud. But you know what? Humanity went on in those conditions—humanity thrived in those conditions. Our predecessors faced danger from everything and had far fewer resources to solve their problems. Most (not all) problems in our everyday lives wouldn’t even have registered with even our great-great-grandparents.

That’s not to make you feel bad. I know my natural response to that is oh, I’m so weak I can’t make it through this thunderstorm but Joan of Arc was calm as she burned at the stake. I’m useless. That is not the intent of this exercise. Instead, consider how strong human beings are. You are the product of thousands of generations of people who’ve struggled with things just as frustrating or scary as you’re dealing with now. Instead of thinking I could have it so much worse, think I owe it to the people that really do have it worse to keep on keeping on.

And most importantly: don’t take everything so seriously. This song by comedian Trevor Moore, always helps me put things in perspective.

I’m nervous about something I have to do/have to face:

You got this. Seriously. You are capable of so much more than you think you are. When you’re nervous, if you’re like most people, you’ll freeze up. And as the old saying goes, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Give it all you’ve got.

And even if you don’t got this, what’s the worst that could happen? Barring some very specific circumstances, you will still be breathing at the end of whatever this trial is. As long as you’re still around, you can fight to make things better—no matter how bad things seem right now.

As far as we know, we only have one life. One shot. As long as you’re brave enough to get back up when you’ve fallen, you’ll be able to make the most of it.

I think I need real, professional help from people who actually know what they’re talking about:

First of all, they can help you. They want to help you. I promise. You’re not their burden. You’re not misusing resources. Please contact them if you have any desire to.

Subtance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Hotline – Lots of good links and information about substance abuse, mental health, suicide prevention, and SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

The Trevor Project – 24/7 hotline specifically aimed at helping young people in the LGBTQ+ community. There’s also a text and online chat version of the hotline. Look in the top right-hand corner.

National Center for PTSD – run by the Office of Veteran’s Affairs, but not exclusively for veterans.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline – I know people personally who have used this and have been helped by it. Your call is 100% confidential.

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