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.



Bumps in the Road

We’re in the home stretch for Spring Mysteries. There’s only one more rehearsal, and then we’re on site.

ATC SMF 2014Yesterday’s rehearsal had some interesting challenges. Quite a number of people were not able to be there, due to work or health or other unexpected circumstances. When we arrived at the rehearsal location, we found out that we were not on the schedule for the day, and the whole building was booked! Thankfully, some of the other cast members live nearby, and we were able to go to their home to run lines. And there are still several people who are struggling with their lines.

When you are this close to production, all of that can lead to a little anxiety.

I’m pretty calm, though (at least about that). I know my lines. I trust that the people who are struggling will spend the next week and a half buckling down and working on memorization.

This is the test of faith. Are you still willing to keep going when it gets challenging? Will you see it through to the end, or throw in the towel?

I’m one of the “I’ve come this far, and I’m going to see it through until the end” kind of people. So despite the fact that I’m really tired, despite the extra challenges at work, despite not seeing as much of my family as I would like, I’m excited for the main event.

I still have my own work to do. I don’t know everything there is to know about Aphrodite. I still have a ritual to prepare. And I am honored to be doing this work, and to serve the Gods and my fellow pilgrims to Eleusis.



PS. There is still space to register – room and board is included in the registration cost! Join me in Eleusis!