It’s ok to ask for help

May 30, 2012

Her phone number sat in my inbox for three weeks.  Every time I’d check my e-mail, I’d get that feeling in the pit of my stomach, knowing I needed to call. Remembering why I had asked my friend for her number in the first place.  I made excuses as to why I hadn’t called yet.  But the truth was, I didn’t want to.  I didn’t want this to be yet another challenging part of my current reality.  When I finally got up the courage to call her, I made an appointment for that evening.  Knowing that if I didn’t go that very day, I wouldn’t follow through.  But on that rainy Wednesday evening, the strength I needed was there.

I settled into the couch in her office.  She asked a simple question, “Why are you here?”  I swallowed hard, as I began with the short version, “I’m overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed.” She sat and listened as I rehashed the past four months. She offered insights here and there, but mostly she just listened. She gave me a few small homework assignments, tangible things I could do.  And I as I walked out of the office of my new counselor, I felt a sense of hope that I hadn’t felt in a very long time.

When we made the decision to medicate Elliott, I was truly hopeful that things would begin to get better.  And that we be able to move out of this desperate place, into a place of healing and normalcy.  But the truth is, we’ve been through two medications so far, and have seen no positive effects.  And in many ways things have gotten worse. When we began walking down this road, I knew this was a possibility.  But that doesn’t make it any less discouraging.

I started off pretty strong.  ”We’re gonna get through this.”  ”We’ll figure it out.”  But as the weeks and months drag on, this mama is losing her steam. I have not lost my faith my in God’s divine plan or infinite wisdom.  No, I know these things are not any less true than they were before all of this craziness began.  But in all practical senses, I am exhausted and worn out. The reality is, caring for Elliott is much like caring for a newborn, except he sleeps a whole lot less : )  He takes every single ounce of energy I have. And these days, my reserves are pretty depleted.

I’ve recently come to a new place of acceptance, realizing that we are likely in this for the long hall.  This is not something that is just going to go away.  And with that realization, was the decision to get some help in the form of counseling.  Because yes, I am overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed.  That is the honest truth.  And if my family is to come through all of this relatively unscathed, I have to take care of myself. I have too many little people depending on me, to let my pride get the best of me.  And with that also comes the need to ask for help from those around me. Admitting that all of this is too much for me, and that I can’t do it by myself. So I’m calling in those favors, taking people up on their offers, and being intentional about setting up times for others to help me out.

I don’t really know how to wrap up this post with a neat and tidy bow except to say, as mama’s we have got to take care of ourselves.  There’s a lot riding on it.  And yes, above all things trusting Jesus is the very best resource we have available to us.  But so often we neglect the practical things we can do.  We try to be everything to everyone. And all too often we forget that it’s ok to ask for help. It doesn’t mean that we are weak.  It doesn’t mean that we are less of a mom.  It doesn’t mean that we have failed.  It only means that we are human...just like everybody else.

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