Accept Help: A Guide to Letting People In

Accepting help means to accept that you have a problem, and sometimes, we aren’t so willing to do that. Letting people in risks feeling vulnerable. We like to know that we are capable of doing things on our own. Sometimes, we can even fear burdening our loved ones.

While I will admit, accepting help is something that I still struggle with, I have come to understand that accepting help is absolutely necessary to surviving any traumatic experience, and it makes it a whole lot easier for you and your loved ones. Here are 8 things to keep in mind next time you find yourself hesitant to ask for help.

  1. Accept your Vulnerability

To accept help, you need to let go of pride and accept your vulnerability. Understand your situation and its potential to make you feel vulnerable. Vulnerability in this sense is not a reflection of you; but a reflection of your situation. When you understand this, you will feel less guilty for needing help.

Accept that you are not superhuman, although we’d all like to be. You are a human being who needs love and support through this difficult time in your life

  1. Receiving help is a part of being human.

Consider this, two human beings came together to create you, one housed you in her womb, another delivered you, and others have helped to nurture you in some way. Human beings were not created with the intent to live, nonetheless survive alone- it is biologically not natural.

Although we like to exercise control over our own lives, we are one little piece of something much larger. As human beings, we are responsible to help each other navigate through this messy and confusing whirlpool or a world that we live in. So why are we so quick to push people away?

  1. Let go of Fear.

Fear to appear weak, fear to show struggle, fear to burden or even annoy your loved ones, fear that we’ll be misunderstood… the possibilities are endless. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but all of these fears are real and inevitable.

Right now, you may be weak and struggling, and you have every right to be. That doesn’t mean your overall character is a weak, and this doesn’t mean that you are not apt to handle your situation. The fact that you get up every morning is enough. That alone should prove to you that you’re strong enough to endure life’s battles. Even if living is defined as sleeping in some days and crying your eyes out the next- you’re still here. Koodo’s to you for just putting up with your pile of sh**.

Your pain will most likely burden your loved ones. That’s just what happens when you love someone – you inherit their pain, and likewise their happiness. But that doesn’t mean you should push people away to avoid this, nor do you need to put on a fake smile to pretend that you’re okay. You are in a tough spot right now; sometimes there are only bad days, and better days. Let them sit with you through your bad days, and help you find the better ones.

  1. You help others when you let them help you.

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Image, Megan Marie Knutson, theodysseyonline.com

You’ll actually be doing yourself and your loved ones a favour if you choose to let them into your messy head- no matter how disorganized, cluttered, and crazy it is.

Those that love us want to see us happy, better human beings. When we are in a hopeless situation, our supports can feel just as hopeless helping us. This can lead them into feelings of guilt and anxiety. Sometimes there is nothing anyone can do to solve our problem but to simply be there. So let them. This ultimately helps them feel somewhat helpful and valuable to your well-being, while boosting your well-being. If you’re worrying about burdening them, keeping quiet is doing a better job at that.

  1. Accept that your supporters aren’t perfect

As discussed in “Dealing with Disappointment,”you will also be misunderstood. That is the cost of human relationships; don’t let this fear be the reason you deprive yourself of lasting ones. Assess the relationships that you have with your supporters – you will soon understand the dynamic of each. Some supporters are good for making you laugh and keeping you distracted, but can’t help you sift through the emotional stuff. Other supporters may be your go-to for the painful heart-wrenching sobaholic tears. It’s hard to find someone who can satisfy all of your needs, but everyone will have a part.

If you’re lucky enough to have someone who can do it all, keep them close, yet at the same time, don’t get too high in your expectations of them. While they’re amazing and may have even become your most valuable rock, understand that it is hard to be some ones “everything.” They have their own life to manage too, but regardless, they still love you and want to see you happy.

All in all, identify the key members of your team and designate their strengths- call when needed.

  1. Speak up; it’s essential to your relationship.

Easier said than done- I know, but suppressing the pain will only make things worse when there is no choice but for it to surface, and likely result in unhealthy coping mechanisms – this being one of them.

I still struggle with this. We don’t ever want to be in the position to need help; we always want to be on the opposite side of the spectrum. But that is how life works, we give and receive, it’s what keeps relationships healthy. No matter who you are, you will always be in a position to both give, and also receive help. Your time will come to be superhero for someone else, but right now, you need some strength.

  1. Let it out. Even when you cant put it into words.

On my especially bad days, I resorted to isolating myself. I shooed away my loved ones when I cried in my bed and yelled at them to let me be alone. After giving me my space, they would come back and try to pry out what it was that was upsetting me. Most times, all I could say was “I’m exhausted.” There were no other words for it.

Other times, I didn’t bother talking about my problems because I knew there was no solution. My logic of the situation denied me the right to vent because I saw no solution to my problem, and therefore, no benefit in venting. I already thought the situation out and reached the conclusion, there is nothing anyone can say or do to fix this that I haven’t already thought of.

Your supporters know this. They know that they can’t say or do anything to fix your situation, even though they’re trying. But they are there to be by your side while you sift through your pain. If you let it out, even if that means just crying your eyes out at what seems to be a hopeless situation, that’s still enough. I may not have felt completely okay crying it out, but I felt better. Better then I was when I was swallowing the tears and just holding back the burst. It’s okay. Let it out and sleep it out. End your bad days early.

  1. Remind your supporters of how important they are to you.

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Its tough to be you, but its also tough to support you. Even if you’re the best communicator out there, no matter how you try to ease the pain on your loved ones- it’s tough being a supporter.

Your supporters can feel helpless and vulnerable themselves when helping you. They may not know what to say, or if what they say will potentially hurt you. They don’t know whether to listen to you when you shoo them away, or whether or not you really want them to stick around. It’s a constant walking on eggshells. Can you see how nerve-wracking that is?

Remind them that you love them, and thank them for being there always, because really, there is no way in hell you can do this alone.

Cherish your Armour.

guard-your-heart

Image, Alan Stewart, Guard Your Heart

I was constantly told that “God gives his battle to his toughest soldiers,” not knowing where the hell I signed up for the war. But coming out on the other side, I realized that a soldier is nothing without armour. My family, my loved ones, my support, they are the armour that got me through. Some armour was punctured through, some fell off, but the best took a beating, and helped carry me through the war.

I don’t know a survivor of any sort of trauma without a supporter. They’re essential to our well-being, and ultimately awesome! Let them help you! And help yourself while you’re at it.

Who are your greatest supporters?

Header image: Mike Bird

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