One of the advantages of attending a small university is the tight-knit community it fosters. This is especially true at the University of Dallas. It does not take long before you start to learn the names of the Cap Bar workers and begin recognizing individuals you routinely pass on the Mall. Yet, there remain times when you might look around and find yourself feeling misplaced and isolated from others. While this feeling is natural and often unavoidable, it is not something you have to struggle with on your own.
In the “Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis,” Lewis shares the following: “I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.”
Lewis is correct; we should not to keep our sorrows to ourselves. It can be frightening or unsettling to discuss heartache or depression with others, but opting for silence often leads to greater feelings of isolation.
In Genesis 2:18, God states: “It is not good for man to be alone.” He then creates Eve, a “suitable helper” for Adam. From this simple verse, we can see that it is against our very nature to be alone. From the beginning of human existence, God acknowledged the necessity for man to exist in communion with others.
There is a common misconception that asking for help is a sign of weakness or deficiency. But to be honest, quite the opposite is true. To ask for help requires us to set aside our pride and recognize our need for guidance. By opening ourselves up to others, we acknowledge that we are imperfect and incapable of being fully self-sufficient.
In light of Mental Health Awareness Week, take a moment this week to reflect on yourself; observe how you feel and take action. If voicing your feelings to your friends is too difficult, consider seeking help from the counselors on campus. They are a wonderful resource and truly aspire to help students uncover and heal from their difficulties.