Hippo with a life preserver

A hippo wearing a life preserver. The image is painted in hues of blue and yellow.
Media: Digital.

After making this illustration I’ve realised that it could have worked really well with some text, but I never really found a snappy enough phrase to go with it. This image is all about how even people who are masters at their craft needs a little help, and that there’s no shame in asking for help. Sadly we live in a society where sometimes asking for help, or receiving help is sometimes looked down upon, which is idiotic to me, because we cannot be expected to keep everything together all the time.

This taboo about asking for help is very apparent when we talk about mental health, as we seem expected to cope with everything ourselves and that we should just suck it up and keep going. There is absolutely no shame in talking to someone, be it a health professional or a close friend or loved ones. Nor should there be an issue with taking medication. There’s often an analogy about taking pain medication and using a crutch if you’ve broken a leg, and that that is more acceptable than getting help for mental health issues.

Sadly there is also a stigma that disabled people are facing, where there’s this belief that wheelchair users are wheelchair bound, which isn’t the case at all. If you’ve been to a hospital you might have been wheeled around in one despite being able to walk. Yet there’s an expectation that people outside of the hospital setting who use wheelchairs shouldn’t be able to move without it, which might be true for some, but not for all.

We need to normalise that asking for help is normal, and even healthy. Recognising that you can’t do everything yourself is a good thing, as it can relieve so much strain. Normalising it will also make it a lot easier for people to ask for the help they need. We also have to stop making assumptions about people based on the aids they are using, and start treating everyone with more compassion and respect.

I’ve uploaded this cute illustration to my my TeePublic shop, and it’s available as stickers, t-shirts and more