Category Archives: Filling in the Blanks

Life Rehab Resource: Ask for Help

ringo "helping" me do laundry

ringo blue “helping” me do laundry

“I tried carrying the weight of the world, but I only have two hands.” ~ Avicii, song lyric from Wake Me Up

It’s hard for me to ask for help. I am the helper. I provide support for others. I fix all the problems, anticipate the needs. When I find myself overwhelmed, confused, unable to handle what is happening, I don’t reach out. I am convinced that I should be able to do everything myself.

Right now my life is difficult. I took on too much at once — a new project at work, a new puppy, a sick dog, and yoga teacher training. At the same time, I am still working with the grief from the loss of Dexter, and even Obi and Kelly before him, as well as deep sadness about other things. I’m also working with a therapist, trying to heal 30+ years of disordered eating, distorted thinking. Because I’m so busy, I haven’t been taking care of my body like it needs. I feel weak and tired, sluggish. I’m convinced I am failing, making a mess of things even though I am trying so hard, doing the best I can.

A few times on Facebook, I requested support. I was asking specifically about raising a puppy, needing to hear from people just how long things would be this hard. I’ve done it three other times, but am suffering from some sort of amnesia about how this works, and keep getting stuck thinking this is how it’s always going to be, that the difficulty will never end. But every time I post about it, ask the question, it seems like people don’t take it seriously and end up either joking with me or offering more general encouragement. This helps, but I am desperate for a timeline. When will this ease up?

So I asked for help directly. Stacy Morrison is an online friend. We’ve never met in person, but follow each others blogs as well as being connected through other social media, and have developed a friendship that way. We have a similar way of seeing the world and are working with similar struggles. She also just so happens to have a six month old puppy, a Lab/Terrier mix, so I knew she would still remember, be able to give me an answer. I reached out.

Her response was immediate, direct and compassionate. What she said didn’t change the specifics of my situation, but I immediately felt better about it. The support she offered made all the difference. And all I’d had to do was ask.

There is no shame in needing help. There is no shame in weakness, illness or sadness or confusion. There is no shame in being overwhelmed and not knowing what to do. We don’t need to hide our broken hearts, our struggle, our suffering. Telling the truth, being vulnerable is how we access the support we need, is how we heal. We can start by admitting we can’t do it all ourselves, that we can’t fix or handle everything that comes our way.

Go ahead, kind and gentle reader. Say it with me: I need help. Can you help me?

Something Good

I made my best effort to find the original source of this image, but couldn't, and also couldn't stand not sharing it with you.

I made my best effort to find the original source of this image, but couldn’t, and also couldn’t stand not sharing it with you. Forgive me.

1. The Power of Asking from Laurie Wagner of 27 Powers. Laurie is an amazing writing teacher, and her next session of Telling True Stories starts on January 7th.

2. Live Your Own Life Now. Permission Slip Enclosed. from Jennifer Boyken at Life After Tampons.

3. This quote from Jonathan Fields, “You cannot create change in others. Until you embody the truth you seek to inspire.”

4. From my Inner Pilot Light, “When you let go of attachment to outcomes, the Universe is free to work its magic, and it’s a great opportunity to learn to trust that even if things don’t go the way you hoped, the Universe has always got your back.”

5. Providence, Poetry and Magic from Stacy Morrison on Filling in the Blanks.

6. Show Your Work from Jen Lee.

7. From Pema Chödrön, on training with uncertainty:

Many of us prefer practices that will not cause discomfort, yet at the same time we want to be healed. But bodhichitta training doesn’t work that way. A warrior accepts that we can never know what will happen to us next. We can try to control the uncontrollable by looking for security and predictability, always hoping to be comfortable and safe. But the truth is that we can never avoid uncertainty. This not knowing is part of the adventure, and it’s also what makes us afraid.

8. From Danielle LaPorte’s Daily Truthbomb: “Creativity is the difference between life and death.”

9. How To Keep Your Heart Open When It Breaks from Lissa Rankin.

10. Regrets of the Dying from Bronnie Ware. This is one I’ve posted before, but it bears repeating.

11. Quote from Kris Carr: “When we accept ourselves exactly as we are, in exactly this moment, we shift from living for tomorrow to appreciating today.”

12. This quote: “There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story.” ~Linda Hogan

13. I love what Patti Digh has to say about about making strong offerings, “Putting your work into the world without regret, without attachment to outcome, without hesitation. Voicing your voice.”

14. I want this: Walking into Fire: Sidestepping Fear, Writing Your Heart Out, and Letting Your Story Tell Itself with Susan Piver. This is an audio of a workshop with three of my favorite women–Jennifer Louden, Susan Piver, and Patti Digh, “a heart-expanding, writing refreshing day bursting with learning, craft, and creativity.” This whole site BetterListen! has lots of good stuff available.

15. Sas Petherick launched her new site, her new venture. You can download her beautiful book, Body Stories, for free! Keep an eye on this one. She’s going to do some amazing things.

16. 21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity, ” People aren’t always awful. Sometimes, they’re maybe even just a little bit wonderful.” And 26 Moments That Restored Our Faith In Humanity This Year.

17. This quote: “To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” ~Mary Oliver

18. Celebrating Consciousness with Patti Digh, Author and Master Teacher on the Daily Own.

19. Love Apocalypse. I found this site after watching a video Jen Lemen made, Thoughts On Newtown and the End of the World as We Know It.

20. Aimee Mann puts on one of the best Christmas shows ever. Sadly, she’s not doing it this year, but she shared this video (a compilation of videos made to play during her previous shows).

21. 46 Reasons Why My Three Year Old Might be Freaking Out. You don’t have to be a parent to get why this is so funny, (thanks to Susannah Conway for this link).

22. Beautiful pictures by Kevin Russ, (thanks to Susannah Conway for this link).

23. A New Year’s Ritual. Andrea Scher always has the best New Year’s prompts, and this year she shares them in a series of videos, (it’s a total bonus that she’s also super cute).

24. This quote: “Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.” ~Earl Grollman