Time To Call In The Troops (aka I Can ‘Do’ Tough!)

These troops are on their way from Space as you read. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3e/Teddies_in_Space.jpg By Cambridge University Spaceflight (University of Cambridge Department of Engineering) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
These troops are on their way from Space as you read.
By Cambridge University Spaceflight (University of Cambridge Department of Engineering) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Whether you have a chronic physical illness, a mental illness, or whether you’re just ploughing through life keeping one foot in front of the other, and your head above water… sometimes it’s time to realise that just perhaps… it’s time to call in the troops.

Sometimes I’m a little slow to realise that the time has come.  Sometimes I think I can just keep plodding on by myself and “I’ll be okay“.  Sometimes I’m standing, gazing at the sky, wondering just when the troops are going to arrive.  It doesn’t matter that I haven’t called them, I just assume that somehow, magically, they will know I need them and come running (or flying in the case of the image above).

Other times I get a whack in the side of head and realise that unless I ask, it just won’t happen.

And vague mentions of stress are not enough.  When I finally work that one out and actually specify to someone who can help that I need their help… then I’m finally getting somewhere.

That whack in the side of the head (not literal) came yesterday and today, I asked for help.  I called in the troops.

Just in case you haven’t got it yet, that is a major accomplishment for me.

Yesterday I walked away from a situation in tears, out of sadness for a person I love, and an inability to know how to make a positive difference in that person’s life.  I wasn’t even sure it was possible, but meanwhile I felt helpless and frustrated.  Aside from the other person’s needs, I could feel my own stress levels had skyrocketed again.  Again, because I was going through the same helplessness and frustration day in, day out.  And it wasn’t getting any better.  If anything it was getting worse.  What’s more it was something I simply couldn’t run away from (although you can bet I considered it).

I realised that I could sit, feeling helpless and frustrated, hoping that someone would come along one day and help me… but I knew (finally) what wouldn’t happen.  The help wouldn’t come (certainly not magically) and I would simply get sicker, both mentally and physically, as my stress levels continued to rise.  I finally realised that I had to find a way of getting help for myself before I become helpless, not to mention hopeless.  I know myself well enough to know that I walk a very fine line.  It doesn’t take much to tip the balance and end up in despair, depression and hopelessness.

So with all this wise thinking on board, today I went out to ask for help.  It turned out not to be quite the help I was hoping for.  It seemed that bureaucracy got in the way.  Doesn’t it always?  But almost miraculously (maybe that’s going over the top) I got enough help to change my mindset, and actually that’s what I think is the exciting part of all this.

Somehow literally walking down the street and into an office to ask for help, lifted the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness.  Even though the person I spoke to saw me for maybe five minutes at the most, I realised I wasn’t helpless.  Actually I have a hard task ahead of me.  One I would rather not have.  But I’ve got it and today I’ve been able to suck it up and really accept this role.  I’m not helpless and the situation is not without hope (although definitely pretty bleak).  It’s just tough.  But I can ‘do‘ tough.

No one said this to me.  I just got the message myself.  Sometimes weird things happen that way and we find our own strength to do what’s needed.  Somehow by going out to look for help from another source, even though I didn’t get exactly what I was looking for, I did get what I need.  I really hope that’s not too confusing.

Today’s quote might seem like it’s not really relevant, but actually it is totally relevant to my situation and my effort today to take back some control in my life.  If it only means something to me, then that’s okay.  Perhaps the relevance is contained in the parts I couldn’t share.  My apologies.

“The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush.  It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.”

 – Robert Hutchins



14 thoughts on “Time To Call In The Troops (aka I Can ‘Do’ Tough!)

  1. Oh boy… first of all – I’m sorry you reached that stage, but I am way glad you had the sense to reach out and do something about it. I’ve been feeling close to this myself lately and no, I haven’t reached out… yet. We’ll see. I know I’ve been through bad times before and got through them, but lately I’m walking slower and slower in the plod through life. Thanks for the reminder that admitting we need help is a strength, not a sign of failure. x

    1. I know for me sometimes plodding through life for a while is necessary for me to get the kick in the pants to do something. I’m not exactly a fast learner when it comes to my own needs. I hope you find the strength to reach out soon. It’s worth it.

  2. I think the simple (yet often so difficult) task of asking for help, of calling in the troops, of admitting we can’t do it alone, I think whatever the result, the fact that we have stepped up and acknowledged the need for assistance gives us back some feeling of control when we have long been feeling helpless. . . And I think that simple feeling of regaining some control can make all the difference.

    (And I also think that was the longest, most mixed-up sentence-and-a-half I’ve written in a while, but that you, Cate, you’ll get it.)

    1. Yeah, I think you’re right. Now I just have to see if I can keep hold of that control. So many things bombard us to shatter that idea. And your sentence is wonderful. 71 words if I counted right (and you may recall I couldn’t count right recently 😉 ) but regardless of length it made perfect sense to me. Thank you. ❤

  3. Asking for help is one of the hardest things to do. Also, it’s hard to know who to ask and sometimes, I ask the wrong person. Because we CAN do tough, sometimes we tend to think we have to be tough and do it all alone.

    1. I know what you mean. I have a problem with asking the wrong people too, or I just expect they’ll help me even if I haven’t been blatant enough to state my needs. It’s definitely a learning process.

  4. John Richardson

    We are all in this together, Cate and sometimes we all need help. Never be afraid to ask. You may be giving someone else an opportunity to feel better about their own situation. Sometimes when we embrace what must be, however we might wish it not to be, magical things do happen and we find we’ve turned a corner. God Bless!

  5. You know, Cate, I know exactly what you mean. I’ve been to hopeless and I’ve been to desperate, and there have been times when one way or another once I realize that all life isn’t ending and that I do in fact have some control. I get there, and the hopelessness and desperation dissipate. Like you said, they don’t go away completely, but they for sure lessen.

    I’m actually excited to read the word excited in your blog. That’s a good thing!

    1. I like that. You know one of my mother’s favourite lines used to be “you’re your own worst enemy”. I hated it at the time, and I would never admit to her that there was some truth in her words, but she’s… dare I say it, right. But then if anyone repeats that to me I’ll swear black and blue that it’s wrong. 😀 And “excited”? How did that sneak in there? I’ll have to be more careful…

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