Life is made up of many pieces, like a puzzle. Here I attempt to put them all together.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

It Is Okay to Ask for Help

I am so grateful tonight to Doug for taking some responsibility from me and allowing me to have some breathing room to explore some of the things I love to do. He has taken over all the paperwork for the childcare business. And I feel like a mountain has been lifted from my shoulders.

I had gotten to the point where I felt like I was always behind, that I was cutting back on more and more things in my life just to take care of what was absolutely necessary and still was falling further and further behind. Because I was so run down physically and couldn't take the time I needed to rest and allow my body to heal, I was dealing with a very bad cold that would not leave. I had honestly reached a point where I would run into the bathroom, cry, pull myself together, run back out and take care of what needed to be done, run back in the bathroom, cry and then start the whole process over again.  I needed some help.

For some reason, though, asking for help has always been extremely hard for me. The thought of asking for help makes me feel shaky, afraid, less valuable, and like a failure. Intellectually I know that is not true. But emotionally it's a very real struggle. So instead of asking for the help I need when I know I need it I start a lengthy process of justifying why I need that help. But I don't stop there, I then begin analyzing what everyone else is doing and how they are being how they are being negligent in their duties (in my mind) and how they are making things hard for me, thereby causing me to need the help I don't want to ask for.

So now I have built myself up (once again, in my own mind) to be the poor mistreated hero and I'm getting angry at everyone around me for how insensitive and selfish they are. And from there it's a fast slide downhill into a massive sea of self-pity. Not pretty. Not pretty at all!

 Well, this whole process finally culminated last Saturday into a total messy breakdown. I tried to be careful what I said and how I said it, but when I looked back at the conversation, there was still a lot of room for improvement. But my husband was very gracious, heard me out, asked a few questions to clarify things, and then quietly went about giving me the help I needed. I love that man.

But as I've looked back over the whole situation this past week I realized that all I would have needed to do, six weeks ago when I realized I was in over my head, was simply admit I needed help. A simple "Honey, I'm feeling overwhelmed, could you help me out a little?" would have saved us all a rough ride on my sea of self  pity.

I really needed to write this post to help me remember a few things the next time I need help.
  • There is nothing wrong with asking for help.
  • Needing help does not make me a less valuable person.
  • Asking for help when needed makes life smoother for everyone.
  • I do not need to do it all. Other people are competent and willing.
  • Asking for help allows me to spend more focused quality time with those who need it.
  • Asking for help make other feel important, special and needed as well.
So next time, I'll simply ask. Right away. Hopefully.

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