Asking for Help IS Self-Care
Can you repeat that again, out loud? Asking for help IS self-care. Maybe you need permission to ask for help. Maybe you are struggling and nobody knows because you think it's selfish or a sign of weakness. Whatever your reason, I am here to tell you that those who love you WANT to show up for you. They WANT to love you.
Why is it that we are the first to offer a meal, money, or even time when we hear of a need but we are afraid to reach out to others when we have one? When did we think we had to be perfect? When did we begin to believe that our needs were less than others? These are questions worth pondering.
A dear dear friend of mine recently lost her husband and has now contracted Covid. She is miserable. Her illness has brought her to a stop. She had been staying busy, trying to outrun her grief. When we spoke on the phone about it, I assured her that I have never felt her particular pain but that I understood grief having lost our 15-year-old daughter. I asked her if she could just honor Body during this time and allow herself to wallow in grief. She had been running from it so hard that now she was overwhelmed and being forced to sit with her feelings.
Living in America, we experience a melting pot of cultures. I believe each culture offers unique and wondrous gifts when we look for them. One culture literally sobs their grief out, sometimes collapsing in public. Another culture tears their clothing, showing their sorrow publicly. I think there's great wisdom in being vulnerable, in feeling our feelings. I shared that with my friend. I hope it helped.
Our entire world has been through so much in the last few years. During that time, my husband and I decided to self-quarantine for all those who couldn't, those on the front line, and those who had families to support, most of the world actually. This was something tangible that we could do. I moved my entire business online and worked from home. During this time, I started sinking, really sinking. I am a social person and I longed for family and friends. I was spiraling out of control. I finally made a doctor's appointment and got on some anti-anxiety/depression medication. Did that make me weak? No. It made me smart. I knew my husband could not help me. I knew I needed more help than I could get on my own. As things have returned to a new normal, I had hoped to wean off my medication but that has not been the case for me. I am watching myself. I am feeling my feelings. I am honoring Body and allowing It to tell me when I will be strong enough to start that new journey.
Another friend of mine lives alone and was sick recently. They were embarrassed to ask for help. They couldn't get to the store on their own. They were stuck in isolation. Think how many people would have been more than happy to help them but, again, one must reach out. We cannot know each other's needs unless we are told.
How many times has someone asked us how we are and we respond with "fine" when we are not? I'm not counting acquaintances. I'm talking about close friends and/or family. Maybe you have a trust issue. Maybe you're always the strong one. I'm asking you today to look at your habits and see if you are really taking care of YOU. Honor yourself. Ask for help from those who care for you. They would be honored to hold space for you, to pray for you, to send healing, and run an errand. Wouldn't you gladly do that for them? If you are needing professional help, love yourself enough to reach out. Most communities have inexpensive opportunities for counseling if you look. Your doctor and/or your pastor want you to be healthy. There is no shame in reaching out. Love yourself enough to care for yourself.
Until next time.....