Site banner

How good are you about asking for help?

You may excel at it. You may be one of those (lucky) people who is good at relinquishing control and is happy to sit back and let others do stuff for you.

But if you're a seriously independent being (like me) life can be very challenging when you need help. How do you ask? It's a time when you truly appreciate the kind and thoughtful people who suddenly appear from all sides. But when you're not used to needing help and so many lovely people offer theirs, how do you say 'yes please' graciously? I'm not very good at it!

I haven't ever had anything seriously wrong with me, just several bionic interventions that have prevented me from driving, walking very far, doing stuff with both hands and generally being of much use to anyone for a matter of weeks on each occasion. Languishing at home with a good book is a delight for a day or two because it's such a privilege to have the time to do it. But after that ...

So how can our thoughts help when we find ourselves in this situation, frankly feeling hopeless, helpless and pretty worthless with little or no opportunity to go out and about and see what could possibly be done to help others. You'd think that depression would set in after a bit.

Well, I found with my latest incapacity, that there was one thing that really helped. Instead of sitting round and feeling egocentric, I took the opportunity to ask questions whenever a kind friend dropped in or offered to take me out and about. What I learned about others who were seriously suffering occupied my thoughts far more constructively than letting them dwell on my own incapacity. Hearing about a friend who'd just had a triple bypass and wondering how she was coming along, about a friend suffering from chronic post viral fatigue who simply couldn't get through a whole day and had to drag herself to work and do what she could, about a friend who's beginning to recover very slowly from something that caused part of her brain to enlarge and no-one knows why, about two friends whose memories are failing - and much more. Suddenly my inability to get on with all the things I'd like to get done 'yesterday' or get out and about without help, seemed very insignificant. It was a steep learning curve for me, to sit still and listen instead of taking almost constant action, but I'm learning to gratefully spend time with friends and to do just that. It felt good to let my own thoughts focus on others' burdens and ask how I would be able to help when the enforced 'out of action' period was over.  I learnt heaps about myself!

So I've found that if I direct my thoughts totally away from myself and towards those who have really serious things to contend with in their lives, I can actually forget that I've got anything even faintly resembling a problem myself! You may already be very good at this. I've still got my L plates on!

It's your thoughts that count - when you need help

+ Text Size -