Asking for Help

Last week was a pretty rough week for me. Fear, anxiety, depression… all the internal bullies decided to pay me a visit at once. Most of the internal conversation came down to asking for help. Or more accurately, resisting asking for help.

Asking for helpMental health is a funny thing. You can do all the right things, take all the right steps and build all the right habits, and still have bad days. And on a bad day all of those positive habits go right out the window.

On a bad day, getting out of bed takes a tremendous amount of effort. Routine tasks and errands require even more willpower to accomplish, especially when you don’t want to step out your own door. And facing people, talking to them? Forget it.

When all you want to do is sleep, or at least hide in bed, reaching out for help seems like an impossible challenge.

The paradox is that help is exactly what I needed. “When you can’t run, you crawl. And when you can’t crawl, you find someone to carry you.” (Joss Whedon, Firefly, The Message)

Thankfully, my husband was there to carry me. He hugged me and let me cry. He was patient as I got myself together to go out. He drove me around and came with me on the errands I was having trouble facing on my own. He made sure I ate nutritious food, and encouraged me to make the phone call to find a counselor.

In short, he helped me make the baby steps that meant accomplishing something.

Those “little” accomplishments encouraged me to keep working on a bigger project I’ve been working on – decluttering and rearranging my home. I have a tendency toward being a pack-rat. My kitchen table had become my desk, there was a huge box of papers that had collected over more than two years, and stuff. So much stuff.

This weekend I sent a ton of paper to the burn pile, and filed another ton. I set up a new-to-me desk, and moved my sewing table out from under the pile of things that had accumulated on it. I’ve been able to sit down to meals with my children at the table. And my youngest thanked me for it.

Between that, and some pretty good vitamins, I’m feeling better today. There’s still more to do. The decluttering is not yet done, I still need to connect with that counselor to make an appointment, and rebuild my healthy habits. However, I celebrate the small things, the progress I have made, and take each day as it comes.

My mental health didn’t get this way overnight, just like my house didn’t get messed up and cluttered overnight. It’s going to take time to clean things up, sort them out, and heal. And sometimes, despite having the tools and knowledge, I just can’t do it on my own. Sometimes I need a little help.



4 Responses

  1. I hear you. I encourage everyone else to ask for help, yet I rarely do it myself. I’ve learned the hard way that after big life events, we go through a massive emotional, physical and spiritual detox. Everything shuts down in order to purge all the toxins we’ve accumulated. What a great idea to clean off your table and set up your desk! Purging our physical spaces helps eliminate our emotional and spiritual toxins. You’ve inspired me to clean out the kitchen and bathroom cupboards, which have been accumulating stagnant chi on my to-do list for far too long. While cleaning them out, I’ll clean out my metaphysical clutter, too, by listening to your awesome guided meditations. 🙂

    In my experience, it’s vital to give ourselves time to rest, especially when we’ve been running nonstop for years. And it’s also important to ask for help along the way. I wish I had worked with a counselor instead of going it alone. It has taken me much longer to detox than it probably needed to. I now know for next time to take my own advice and ask for help along the way.

    Sending you a big hug!

  2. It’s the old paradox of “healer, heal thyself”. Thank you for the encouragement!

  3. Mary, I am sending lots of hugs your way. I know exactly where you’re at… Christmas was wretched and I went back to work more tired than before the break. I literally ground to a halt. Stress and depression work to make it hard to get anything done. I find that getting things ready for next semester keeps me going. You are lucky that you have such an understanding hubby…..mine isn’t always “there” for me. Glad to hear that you’re decluttering both physically and mentally……and the longer days will help, too! With Brightest Blessings!

  4. This is a very poignant post. Thanks for being open and brave. I am taking my meds and vitamins, but that’s doesn’t always help when life is just hell.

    I finally got out and about this weekend. It helped, but home life is still difficult. Trying to find the best places for help for my whole family.

    I love you, dear woman.