by Colm O’Halloran, USI VP Dublin Region 2018/2019

For a long time, I was too afraid to go to counselling. It seemed scary; I’d have to go into a room with somebody who I had never met before and tell them my problems. I knew the counselor would be professional and incredibly experienced but the little niggling worry in my head would say that they were a stranger and that I had to trust them.

I walked up to the door of the building, the electronic doors opened and I decided to walk away. I did a loop of the road I was on and still did not go in.

I was afraid; all my problems were personal to me and it was my duty to deal with them myself. If I can’t deal with them myself then it must mean that I’m weak. Sure, everyone has problems and they just get on with it and go about their daily lives.

I was completely wrong.

It’s alright to seek professional help, especially if you don’t have a close friend or family member who you can confide in. Having mental health problems doesn’t make you weak; it takes so much strength to even admit that you’re having problems and that you’re not feeling 100%.

My way of dealing with the way I was feeling was to go to counselling and talk, to meditate first thing in the morning, to put in my earphones and let the music soothe me. Everyone will have their own unique way whether that’s drinking a cup of tea or going for a jog; find what’s best for you. I used to feel that I had to be a superhero and deal with all my problems by myself but I’ve realised that all it takes to be a superhero is to seek help.