I need help – these three little words rarely roll off my tongue. I am happy being vulnerable with my feelings, letting you know my inner thoughts but to ask for help is just not in my repertoire of things to say. Actually strike that, I will ask my three children to help but rarely venture out of this small circle.
This week, I needed help in various ways and was kindly offered it but graciously declined many times. Then I decided I am not setting a good example for my children. Shouldn’t they learn that asking for help is ok? I am always encouraging them to help others but do not demonstrate the reverse.
Many of us don’t like to ask for help. We may have been taught that it is a sign of weakness, so we cling to the notion, “I can do everything myself,” even if it’s not always the case.
So this week with some encouragement, I asked my parents for help and they enthusiastically even excitedly raced to my rescue.
I broke my foot, you see, and am unable to drive or do basic things.
Around the same time my 15 year old son who is a keen cricket player was practicing bowling down our back yard and smashed a window. I was laying in my bed upstairs with my injured foot when I heard the crash, I closed my eyes and carefully said “what was that?”
That night my son cooked a barbecue and the gas ran out during cooking and I think at the same time I ran out of strength. It doesn’t sound big but it was all I could handle.
I usually write about how I overcame an obstacle and grew stronger but right now I am just lingering in the feeling of hopelessness. I assure you I will bounce back, but for now I have had enough. When my foot heals, I will learn to appreciate how wonderful it is to walk on two magnificent feet, I will learn to enjoy this time of rest and solitude, I will definitely dance but for now I am laying in my bed with my leg up with tears in my eyes thinking “enough”.
I accept that I don’t always need to be strong and sometimes I can be vulnerable, fall apart, expose my tiredness, feel scared and weak. I think there is a fallacy that we need to be happy and strong all of the time. I want nothing more than for happiness to be my constant state of being and have a hard time forgiving myself when I falter. But I am trying to accept that sometimes I feel discouraged and physically, mentally, and emotionally “burnt out” and just not myself.
My son rang my brother-in-law for help and he brilliantly came to our rescue with the broken window, a wonderful friend drove me to the hospital, my Dad filled the gas bottle, a magnificent bunch of flowers arrived from my sister and brother-in-law, my parents washed the sheets, did washing, left dinner in the fridge and just took care of me and I am finally and gradually finding my sense of gratitude slowly coming back. Even though this help is amazing it is me and only me who is responsible for accepting my feelings of hopelessness. And sometimes I don’t need physical help I just need to express how I feel and just be heard.
I am so adamant about being a grateful and happy person and believe that shining brightly is better than the dark. But sometimes I need to accept the dark. I am learning it is ok to let the world know that I can not ‘do it all‘ and that I am not some unrealistic ‘tower of strength‘. I am human. I have my bag of tips and tricks to get me through these moments but sometimes I just need to be brave enough to accept that ‘I am having a bad day‘.
I have so much to be grateful for but sometimes – I am just a girl standing here saying ‘life is a little challenging at the moment‘.