“If you need help, just ask for it. There are people who love you, who just want you to be okay. Don’t be proud.”
- Me to my Dad on Monday
The problem with giving advice is that sometimes, the advice giver is being a hypocrite. I had a short conversation with my Dad this week where I told (more like scolded) him to accept help from the people who are there to help him. I then started to cry. On his birthday. I’m sure he didn’t understand why I was so emotional, and at the time, I didn’t understand either.
I just now realized why I was so upset. I am the hypocrite.
So for the past several weeks, I have been dealing with various issues to the point that it seems like I’ve been either anxious, sick, or in recovery for the past 2 months. As I type, I am healing from a surgery that has me very sore, slow moving, and in my feelings. So much so, that I doubt that this post will ever be published… and if it is, I likely won’t announce it. I’m just doing what writers do, typing out my stream of consciousness.
With the ultimate goal of being able to carry a child, I have to keep my eyes on the prize - that prize being a baby of our own. I don’t really discuss my struggle with infertility. One day I will go into more detail, but for now I can only admit that this is hard. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. The disappointment, the frustration, the physical challenges, the fear, the self-loathing can sometimes be overwhelming, and I tend to retreat into a shell when it all becomes too much.
The problem with being in a shell is that there is only room for one. While it is cozy and seemingly safe, it is also lonely and offensive to those who care about me. Just like how I told my Dad there are people who want him to be okay, there are people who care about ME and want ME to be okay. There are people who care about YOU and want YOU to be okay. It frustrates my husband when I shut down, because he is a fixer and wants to fix whatever is wrong. He’s so awesome, and is the most supportive person ever. The conflicts arise because I’m a fixer too, but I want to fix things myself [even if I’m doing it wrong] because I don’t want my problems to become other people’s problems. However, as the cliche goes, “no [wo]man is an island”, and the answers to our issues are oftentimes found when we step outside of our shell.
Nobody is perfect. I repeat, NOBODY is perfect. NOBODY IS PERFECT. Its okay to not have it together sometimes. It happens to the best of us. What isn’t okay is to drown alone when there is a life-raft with your name on it. Your village is that raft. God is that raft. Don’t be afraid to reach out for it.
So as a reminder to myself and to you, get out of your shell. Get out of your own way. A true friend will help you up when you fall. That friend can be your spouse or significant other, your sister circle, your close relatives, a spiritual mentor, a support group, or even a trusted mental health professional. Don’t put limits on who God has placed in your life, they are there for a reason. Don’t be proud, ask for help.
If you need help finding support, websites like Psychology Today, MentalHealth.gov, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and others can provide resources, programs, and healthcare professionals who can help you through. It’s going to be okay.