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Help.

 

I’ve been working really hard on improving myself lately. You might think that I’ve got too much going on for that sort of thing, but to be honest I’ve had so much time on my hands that I’ve walked down the road of self-reflection quite a bit more often than I normally would have done. There were two areas of focus for me, one that I thought was big but wound up small, and one just the opposite.

The first thing I decided was that I needed to do something about this phone phobia of mine. It is a real and true anxiety, and one it seems I share with many others, but I realized the day of the visit of a friend that it was becoming ridiculous that I felt so frightened to answer a phone call. Not only is it something which was hampering my daily life, but it could lead to trouble. Texts don’t always arrive as soon as they’re sent. I needed to do something about it.

I started simply enough with taking a few calls that I normally would have let go to voicemail. One was from a friend who doesn’t use social media and I knew I’d need to speak to her to get any real conversation. In texts, we just make stupid jokes and for some reason, I knew there was something else going on. I answered her and we spoke for an hour. There was so much she needed to say, and I’m one of the only people she will say it to. I laughed a lot. I cried a little. I felt the hugs. I was being held by her voice and she by mine. It was somehow so much more than a phone call; it was a lifeline. I continued this pattern of answering unexpected calls from people I know and it continues to be great. Then yesterday I initiated two monumental calls myself. One was to an old friend with whom I haven’t spoken in years due to a falling out and one to my inlaws. The second call leads me to my other area of improvement.

Every day in my online classroom, I teach students who follow three simple rules. The third of these rules is to ask for help. In fact, one of the first phrases they are taught is “I don’t know.” I recognize this as important and have always valued the idea of children advocating for help. It’s been a rule in every classroom I’ve had. I remember countless times of me saying to kids, “All you need to do is ask. If you don’t, I have no idea that you need me and I might be helping someone else while you’re over here struggling.” Why is it that I, who recognize the need for others to ask for help, finds this so hard? I got the date for my next mastectomy surgery yesterday and immediately my brain went into planning mode. Who would be where on what days? How would I get Daughter to school? How would dinner get made once Husband goes back to work? This is my dominant side. How will I do things like get up out of bed and wash my hair when my left side is still not right and my right will be a wreck? Ack! So, I asked for help. I hate to ask for help. I always feel like my needs are so stupid in comparison to “real” problems in the world. Why do I need to have someone help me for so long after my mastectomy? Why do I need someone at all? Shouldn’t I be able to handle it all on my own? The thing is, I just can’t. I can’t drive or prep a meal for my family for a couple of weeks. Chopping hurts. Turning my steering wheel makes me cry and pulls on my drains. I just can;t do it. So I asked a few people for help.

I got the date for my next mastectomy surgery yesterday and immediately my brain went into planning mode. Who would be where on what days? How would I get Daughter to school? How would dinner get made once Husband goes back to work? This is my dominant side. How will I do things like get up out of bed and wash my hair when my left side is still not right and my right will be a wreck? Ack! So, I asked for help. I hate to ask for help. I always feel like my needs are so stupid in comparison to “real” problems in the world. Why do I need to have someone help me for so long after my mastectomy? Why do I need someone at all? Shouldn’t I be able to handle it all on my own? The thing is, I just can’t. I can’t drive or prep a meal for my family for a couple of weeks. Chopping hurts. Turning my steering wheel makes me cry and pulls on my drains. I just can’t do it. So I asked a few people for help. I did. I said the words: “I will need help. Can you help me?” to my in-laws. I may not have done it well, but I asked for help. A friend had me start and now I am getting better. Could he have created a monster? Only time will tell.

If I do become a monster, maybe I’ll need some help to get out of the habit. 🙂

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One thought on “Help.

  1. I’m also stressed by the phone, although it has gotten a lot better. Of course, most of the calls we get aren’t in English, but now I understand well enough to communicate. I’m much better at asking for help, because I’m really aware how sick I am. My problem, though, is remembering that I can do things differently. Luckily, my husband is okay with doing things I can’t (like the dreaded putting things in other things!). I wish you luck with both the improvements and the surgery. *hug*

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