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