A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Asking for help when you need it

on November 18, 2014

Since I’ve gotten home from the hospital and back on my feet, I’ve spent a lot of time dwelling on my health and my life and all of those weighty topics that we all wrestle with when we’re reminded that things can change oh-so-quickly in this life. My biggest regret of the whole experience last week was not asking for help when I needed it. For some reason, I felt like I had to take care of myself and get this little “problem” handled all alone so I could get back to my normal routine. I lost count of the number of times my husband offered to help, in terms of taking me to the doctor or coming to sit with me in the ER or the hospital or even driving me home, all without him realizing how sick I was because I was trying to minimize my symptoms to keep from worrying him. The triage nurse I was talking to on the phone while I was driving into town to get to the ER was really disturbed that I was driving myself given my symptoms and couldn’t believe I didn’t have someone else taking me. Darrell offered, over and over again, but I said I could handle it.

I didn’t tell many people that I was even in the hospital because I didn’t want anyone to worry or to “be a bother”, which rightfully upset a couple of our friends. I didn’t even tell my siblings and don’t even know that they know at this point, unless my mom told them.

I know I’m not the only person out there who is reluctant to ask for help when we need it and coming into the chaotic holiday season, we’re all going to need all of the help we can get. Why do we do  this to ourselves?

Sometimes it is a fear of vulnerability, a fear that people will think we’re lazy or weak if we need help. This has come up for me in terms of weight loss, in that it is incredibly hard for me to ask my husband to keep the bread basket away from on hard days because I don’t want it to seem like I’m not strong enough to resist it by myself.

Sometimes it is a fear of drawing attention to oneself. I confess I still with a lot of fat girl “don’t look at me” feelings and this definitely played into my choice not to reach out to more people when I was sick. I didn’t want to draw any attention to myself.

The truth is, asking for help makes all of us stronger. It makes me stronger in the asking and it makes others stronger in the giving. Like so many other things I learn from my child, I just have to look at Oliver to see this in action. There is little in life that brings him more joy than when asks “Can I help you Mama?” and I actually say yes. Sure those little toddler hands may not do a neat job at whatever task they’re assigned, but seeing the smile and sense of purpose and accomplishment he gets from helping and contributing is totally worth it.

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Asking for help makes me stronger too because it forces me to articulate what help I actually need and to open myself up to share the load with others. Whether it is dealing with holiday stress and chores or resisting the dessert bar or sticking to your workout plan, ask for the help you need. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Do you struggle with asking for help?

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One response to “Asking for help when you need it

  1. […] part I found most intriguing is that they think my lymph node back in November that got me admitted was actually the first big flare of this, a rare phenomena called Kikuchi […]

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