We're taught from when we were knee-high to grasshoppers to be self-sufficient.
Don't let anyone know you're struggling.
Don't ask for help.
Don't air your ditry laundry.
It's no wonder that I struggled with so many things in my life because I was not willing to admit that it wasn't a one man job. Take all my unsuccessful diets for example. I struggled for years with morbid obesity, gaining and losing over 100 lbs in my twenty year binge-career. There was so much shame around my weight, and I should have been able to employ will power, right?
The message in my head said that I should be able to figure it out on my own. And if I wanted help, surely paying a professional was the way to go. Membership at Weight Watchers, or the gym, now that was okay, right? And it did work for some time but as soon as I ended the contract or stopped attending the weekly meetings, my overeating continued, in secret. Of course, that secret can't be kept for too long. An ever-expanding girth is evidence that even the paid help wasn't enough for the long haul. I gained information from these professionals, so I should 'know better' now, right?
Now, if you want some help from me, well that's an entirely different story! I'm ready and willing to do whatever I can to help you reach your goals, to accomplish some challenging task and to be there when you need me. I love how it feels to help you. Hey, if it feels good for me to help you, wouldn't it stand to reason that it might just make you feel good to help me too?
Well, last Thursday I was given an opportunity to ask for help. While riding my 3 wheeled-recumbent sporty little bike, I had a freak accident – my food slipped off the pedal and got caught between the bike frame and the street. OMG! That hurt like nobody's business. Thank God I wasn't too far from the house and I pedaled my way home with one foot. Don't ask me how, because I have no idea. I was next to tears in excruciating pain and knew that it was serious enough for a trip to the emergency ward.
My sweet husband Dave helped me to hobble out to the car, and then into the hospital. The diagnosis was no broken bones but probably a torn tendon. That could involve surgery. Drat, I was supposed to leave for Pennsylvania in the morning to visit my 91 year old parents. Kiss that trip good-bye – I went to see my primary physician instead.
We were grateful to learn that it was not quite so serious but the recommended treatment was still the same, stay off the foot for four or five days (Instead of four or five weeks – I was relieved), use crutches when I need to get up but to keep it elevated.
We have a very comfortable recliner in the den (or media room as they call it these days on the Property Brothers) That is where I spent my weekend. Dave did the cooking, fetched me drinks and pretty much spoiled the beejeebers out of me. I loved and hated it symultaneously.I'd have been much more comfortable fixing him snacks, especially since it was Super Bowl Sunday. But in addition to waiting on me, he didn't starve to death himself either, cooking a frozen pizza, munching on chips and salsa and bologna sandwiches. He loves when I cater to him, so why is it so hard to for me to receive his assistance?
You know, if it wasn't for the support of people in my life, I'm sure that I wouldn't be maintaining a 100-plus pound weight loss. I have learned that when the thoughts of sneaking a snack cross my mind, that I need to share it with someone, or it becomes bigger than life and I'll buy into that crazy thinking. Being stuck on my butt in a chair for three days was a great opportunity for the old thinking to bug me again.
He has so much work to do.
You aren't going to starve to death.
Well, thank you for sharing!
I am not a burden.
Dave is not too busy to help me.
He wants to help me!
I'm sure that the people in my life were well-intentioned and it's a good thing to be able to take care of yourself. But at those times when I can't take care of myself, I'm going to ask for help. Now matter what my head tells me.After all, I coach people on stuff like this all the time! Get help; reframe your thinking; see the spirituality in asking others for help!
So the weekend went okay. Today I was able to remove the splint and move around under my own power. Now matter what my head tells me, I'm not an island and everything in life is easier when we have help. Now, if I can only remember that the next time I can't do something on my own.