I’m doing this thing where I read and respond to letters from people who are struggling, and a surprisingly universal sentiment is that people feel bad for feeling like they might need help. Like at all.

They point to people who don’t need help, as though the existence of people who are doing fine all on their own means that they need to be do it on their own too. It seems like this weird primitive brain thing where you can’t be the person who needs the most help or you’ll be the first one to be eaten by wolves or whatever. So from that perspective it feels like people who are doing better than you are an immediate threat, and you have to hide your feelings from them. Because if they ever find out, I guess you’ll be eaten by wolves? It’s not very well thought out.

There’s no competition for it to be the easiest to feel awesome. Some people are feeling easy breezy and some are not. People switch sides every day. Some of them got help. Who cares? At the end of it all, there’s no prize for Person Who Accepted The Least Amount Of Help. By doing it without help, they’re just doing it the hard way for no good reason.

I tell them so, but I never know if it helps.