I don’t now about you, but this has been a kind of touchy topic for me.
You see, for as long as I can remember, I’ve always tried to be really independent. I left home earlier than any of my siblings and I suppose I wanted to prove to myself and to my family that I could manage just fine by myself.
I don’t really know when it kind of took over. I’ve always liked to do it my way, and preferably do it alone but soon it was like I had taken on this super-woman role. n truth, even this is hard to write because it’s hard to admit.
One day it all changed.
My kids were really small. I had three under five years old (including a tiny baby) and my partner was working overseas. Not only was I convinced that I could manage fine by myself, I was determined that we would all be totally happy, or at least make it look that way.
I went out one afternoon to buy shoes for the oldest boy. I took the baby off my back, and bent over to pick up a shoe. I felt a shooting pain run up and down my back that took my breathe away. Tears came to my eyes and I couldn’t speak. I was on my knees and I realized that I couldn’t move without feeling excruciating pain.
I looked around, no one noticed, the boys were playing, pottering around and as tears streamed down my face, I felt utter despair.
I had never imagined that there could be a situation where I would be literally on my knees and unable to take care of my children. I was totally stuck.
It was terrifying.
Has that every happened to you? Where suddenly you had no choice but to ask for help?
Before this, I had refused to admit that I needed any kind of help. I was just getting on with it, just being capable and strong.
And it took a huge toll.
It also took me a long time to realize that being so depleted is not only difficult for me, it’s also not the best way I can be a parent and it’s pretty dangerous.
You can only be superwoman for so long. At some stage it will all come crashing down and you better hope that no one is going to get seriously hurt.
You would think that I would learn the lesson, but I guess it’s a life lesson for me. I still struggle to ask for help at times. I take on too much, forget to take care of what I need and assume that nothing will stop me.
Then the universe visits me with a reminder; something to show me that I can’t control everything, that I deserve to rest, that others can take on the burden too.
That life is meant to be joyful and fun – not all hard work and being strong.
On that terrible day I ended up calling my sister. She took control. Told me to hold tight and she arrived about an hour later. She managed to get me to a doctor for a shot in my back (I had slipped a disc) and then she took me to her home. She took care of me and my boys for a week until I could manage again. And she helped me realize where I needed help and what I could do to avoid this EVER happening again.
I’ve asked myself again and again, why did I let myself get into such a low place? What was I thinking? And then I just realize how incredibly grateful I am that I could reach out and she was there to help.
I’ve had to learn that we can be inspired and happy in moments of weakness and dependency.
That being able to lean on others is not just a gift to you but it’s a gift to them too.
As an entrepreneur and adventurer, I realize how much I need to depend on others. And I’m working on it becoming easy and joyful.
What about you?
Do you get help when you need it?
Is it hard to ask for help?
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