I Asked For Help

Last week, right after we found out my in-laws are expecting, I knew I was taking it pretty hard, as was pretty evidently in my post.  Then the week just kept getting worse with frustrating adoption stuff and an ankle injury.

I reached out, I let in-real-life friends in and I even asked for help.

I started by emailing a very dear friend who lives in a different city and venting.  I felt like an insensitive ass myself, as she is going through her own stuff and instead I dumped mine on her.  As always, she was amazing and has been nothing but supportive – you know, just how true friends really are!

Then, I asked a very good friend to meet up for lunch as I needed out of the house and I needed to talk.  She unfortunately was busy, but not too busy to impart a few very important pieces of wisdom.  First, she reminded me how much she cares about me, and wants to help.  She tried to come see me that night instead, which of course didn’t fit my schedule.  Then, most importantly she called me.  We are awesome friends, but we always tend to text – neither of us are big phone people.  Anyways, I missed her call, but she said something very poignant in her message “when you call our for help, that means you really need help.”

And while our schedules were not going to allow us to meet up, she was so right with that comment.  I never ask for help, and I just did.

I thought of calling a few other friends, but it just didn’t feel right – most of our friends have young families, and I didn’t want my emotional response to my BIL to make them feel bad for how they may have told us about their pregnancies (in which they were drastically more sympathetic and loving).  But, I was concerned that my emotions would be mus-interpreted as also being upset with them, which is just not the case.

My next step was to call my counsellor’s clinic and ask for a cancellation appointment if one comes available.  Of course, that would not work out for me, as her booking coordinator is on vacation.

So, I stewed over the decision to reach out for a few more hours.  And during this time, I remembered my friends words, I only ask for help when I really need it.  So, I  worked up the nerve to call my counsellor directly.  (Yes, I do have her direct cell phone number – I hated the thought of using it, absolutely hated the thought).

Anyways, I got her voicemail and actually left a message.  She back within a few hours – I suspect she knows that if I called her directly something big had happened.  We talked for a bit on the phone and she reinforced that all my emotions right now are normal and justified.  In the end she promised to try to get me in when she has a cancellation come up.

Part of me really hates that I phoned her directly – I hate feeling so hurt that I don’t know how to fix it myself.  Part of me hates that I needed to call a paid professional, yet I do realize that the reason I phoned her is because she is a professional who will actually understand or at least appreciate where my emotions are coming from.  And you know what, the other part of me just hates that I had to ask for help – I really do hate asking for help (funny how well my friend knows me).

But, another part of me realizes that I really shouldn’t overlook just how important it is that I asked for help.  I would never have asked for help three years ago, and now I am asking friends who I trust, and calling in the experts when I really need one.  While I may not be breaking down walls, and in fact may have started re-building some walls, it has to be a good thing that I did reach out to someone.  Right?  Maybe I should consider this personal growth for my type-a personality who loves to control everything and do everything on my own?

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59 Comments on “I Asked For Help

  1. Wow, this is fabulous! I am so proud of you! This is a HUGE step. Seriously huge. Even though you may need to put up walls around your incredibly insensitive family, I’m so glad that you’re reaching out to others who will treat you with more care. I can’t tell you how glad I was to read this post — I had a smile on my face the whole time. And please don’t ever hesitate to email me if you want to vent about anything. It sounds like you already have wonderful friends to help with that, but just wanted you to know that I am always willing to lend an ear. Xo.

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    • Thank you so much! I think you said it perfectly – while we may need to put up walls around our family, we need to also reach out to those who are supporting us and treating us with empathy, compassion and love. 🙂
      And, thank you for the email offer – I did email you. 🙂

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  2. I know it must’ve been difficult, stepping out of your comfort zone, but I am so proud of you for reaching out to people you trust. Sometimes when we are so used to coping on our own (think RPL and infertility), it is hard to remember that we have supports all around us who care and want to be let in. Texting has been a perfect medium for me to communicate with friends, as I don’t love talking on the phone, and it gives me a bit more freedom with respect to timing.

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  3. Absolutely no shame in asking for help – from friends, professionals or otherwise. In fact, it’s wonderful that you ask for help. You shouldn’t have to do this alone! Hugs!!

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  4. I am so proud of you! I know it’s difficult for you to ask for help but there is no shame in needing it. We just have to be careful with who we trust to help us. I’m so happy you have people you know can and will be there for you. Feel free to email me and vent anytime to. I’m always here to listen!

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  5. It is definitely growth!! Wahoo!! I’ve been meaning to comment on many of your recent blogs but have been all consumed with my own stuff… What i’ve been wanting to say for ages is that it is not bad to be independent BUT shutting people out for fear of beinf let down is not a great feeling and can be pretty lonely. However, you have to learn WHO to trust and it sounds like you are right not to trust many of your family members. That doesn’t mean you block out everyone though and it’s a good thing to let in those deserving of your trust. But i didn’t need to say any of that cause you figured it all out anyway!

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    • Thanks so much for your encouragement and for sharing such a positive attitude! You are so right, it’s about learning WHO to trust, and also learning to accept people’s limitations.

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  6. This is a huge sign of personal growth, in my opinion. I think it’s awesome that you reached out to those you need and trust. Asking for help is not easy. Calling a friend to complain about things is simple, but saying, “I need help” is so hard. Good on you!

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  7. I think that’s a great move – a bold one too. One I couldn’t have made! I think there are a lot of people out there who are wiling to help, and not being afraid to ask for what you need is a sign of strength and maturity. Wish I could get there. x

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    • Well, I’ve now been there once in my life, maybe I’ll do it again, but who knows? I am not making any promises. 🙂
      I hope one day you will too. It’s scary, but supposedly it’s worth it.

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  8. Good! As another non-asker, I was especially struck by WHO you asked – people who could genuinely support you. Those types are the golden ones.

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  9. Asking for help– and being rejected– makes us feel so vulnerable and hurt. To the point, we forget how to ask. It took me ages to realize that when someone doesn’t help me when I need it, that’s a reflection of them not me. It took me even longer to be comfortable asking for help, and just being okay with whatever the response was.

    I don’t do this often, but I’m going to recommend something vaguely self-help-y. Or more like someone: Brene Brown. She has done a ton of research on shame and vulnerability, which I’ve found to be at the root of a lot of my own struggles. Her TED talks are a great introduction.

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    • I appreciate your perspective on asking for help – I really like that you point out that one of the keys of asking for help is also being okay with whatever the response is and not taking it personally. I will remember this when I try to ask for help again in the future.
      I’ve totally read Brene Brown and I adore her TED talks! She is truly inspirational with her research and her ability to tell a story always helps too. 🙂

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  10. I’m so proud of you for reaching out when you needed it. You and I are SO much alike when it comes to this and like you, I don’t like to ask for help. I had to do the same thing last week and ended up making a 4 hour drive to Illinois to stay with friends and family for a few days (blog post coming soon). I can’t begin to tell you how much better I’m feeling and I’m so thankful I finally reached out. I’m going to continue to remind myself of this and I will remind you too – it is OK to ask for help. 🙂

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    • It really does seem like you and I are two peas in the pod, the pod just happens to span an international border. 🙂
      I’m thrilled that you took the step to ask friends for help and based on your post this morning, it sounds like you made a great decision!

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  11. What a huge step. I can’t imagine how big of a relief it was to reach out and not really even notice you were until AFTER you had already made the first steps. If I were you, I would be completely proud!! You are never alone in any of this, and I, personally, am very proud! XO

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  12. I think you just gave yourself an amazing gift that not many are able to do. Where ever you are at today, be there. You’ll know when it’s time to move on from this place. So proud of you 🙂

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  13. I’m so glad you reached out. That’s so hard to do, so major bonus points to you for taking such good care of yourself in a time when it would have been really easy to go the opposite route.

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    • Thanks so much for your encouragement Molly. Asking for help is a foreign concept to me, but I’m told it’s worth it in the end. And, already, I know it has made me feel a lot less alone and a lot more loved in my real life. 🙂

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  14. Huge tight hugs to you. The fertile family is a really hard one to be part of, I started seeing a therapist the week I found out my little sister was pregnant. Then when my older sister told me she was trying to get pregnant, I felt really hurt, and angry. I described the guilt about having such negative feelings to my therapist she reassured me that not only is it totally normal to be upset, those emotions are coming from a place of love. While I don’t have a baby in my arms, I love that little spirit so much, that seeing other people become pregnant is pure painful. Re-framing the “negative” helped me. Mentally, I made a list of ladies around me who might get pregnant. Sure enough, weeks later I sat crying in the therapists office after my older sister shared her exciting news. Since then, unless my 60 year old mother becomes pregnant, I am pretty sure that no pregnancy will be as upsetting. All this to say, I understand, and you are not alone in this journey. You are amazing and strong, and are just in a really difficult place in your life. I hope that the love that causes this pain will also be the love that heals it. xo

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    • Thank you so much for sharing. Honestly, I have to agree, at this point I don’t expect to be as hurt by anyone as we just were by my BIL/SIL. And pretty much any other pregnancy announcement will be easier then this one.
      Also, thank you for sharing this one line – “I hope that the love that causes this pain will also be the love that heals it” – what a beautiful sentiment. This all started from a love for our child, and will hopefully all end with the love for our child.
      Love to you as well my friend.

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  15. I totally understand you! When I started this TTC journey, I was hesitant to tell my very close friends what we were going through. This past Christmas when I was visiting my parents I met up with a few of them and finally told them about our struggles, and you know what? They weren’t negative or insensitive, in fact they were extremely supportive!

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  16. I’m so proud of you for recognizing that you needed a hand with things, and that you weren’t too afraid to let people know. I have a really hard time with this as well, and I feel like most people who know me know that as well. I hope that your counselor is able to get you in some time soon so you can get some of this out, and get some advice too. Hopefully you’ll be able to get your schedules to meet up so you can see your friend as well…because it’s always nice to be able to spend time with friends, it helps a lot!

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  17. Talking is so important. I mean our blogs are awesome for getting it out there but nothing beats a live voice telling you they will be here for you and you will be ok and just letting you rant! I was fortunate to have a few people that were really important to me during this time and even the ones that had small families were still fantastic. In fact one of my friends kids and I are still ridiculously close and have an amazing bond because she didn’t dismiss me because she was too busy with her own life. I can’t thank her enough for that. I think when I became pregnant and it stuck there was massive collective sigh of relief. You don’t realise how many people are silently rooting for you and supporting you in the corner. They want this so bad for you as well. So I am glad you reached out and spoke and I bet those closest to you are as well.

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    • Like you, those who have shown us compassion through our struggles mean the absolute world to us today. I am so glad you friend with her kids was so amazing you to you when you needed her – I have a friend that sounds just like her and I am so grateful for her.

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      • If I may offer advice (and yes, I know unsolicited advice is worth exactly what you pay for it), try to focus on protecting yourself from known sources of pain rather than fears of what might happen. You know most of your family members are either clueless or completely self-absorbed (this is my impression; they are probably also wonderful people in their own way). So don’t let them near your tender places! But please don’t shut out everyone because they *might* hurt you … Sooner or later everyone hurts you or lets you down, but if you shut them out because of fear of a maybe you miss so much of what’s good.

        And … maybe that applies also to the sister/brother in law who recently insensitively announced their pregnancy? Some day you may need to tell them just how – pardon me – shitty their behavior was. But you trusted them for a reason, and that reason was good. If they are receptive, when you’re ready to talk to them, then the rewards of trusting them again may outweigh the risks. Just a thought… 🙂

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      • Oh, you sound just like my counsellor this morning! (and that is a good thing – I adore her). 🙂
        I really think right now I’m in some sort of a place of trying to figure out what I need from our family and also realizing that what I need might not match what they are capable of giving. Which means I may also have to learn to accept their limitations and invest in the relationship in a way that doesn’t result in me constantly being hurt.
        Of course, I really have no idea what this means right now, and how I will actually execute this, but I think now is a good time to try to figure it out.
        (P.S. based on this conversation you will probably like the post I just finished that I’m sharing tomorrow morning)

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Chalk one up for personal growth 🙂 Your reactions are rational and healthy – good on you for asking for help when you need it. Don’t feel bad about phoning your counsellor – you made the right choice. My blog is my version of reaching out for help and even after a few short weeks I have felt my optimism return. You will too. Ugh, its a tough road but it is true that ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’. Keep reaching out x

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  19. ABSOLUTELY it’s a good thing that you reached out and didn’t suffer alone with all you are dealing with–even though it’s hard and feels like you shouldn’t need to. No shame in that! I love your friend and her wisdom and how much she knows you. I also have my therapist’s direct number, and rarely call it, but when I have it has been an absolute crisis where I just couldn’t do things on my own. Sometimes you just need that validation that your feelings ARE normal, that it’s perfectly okay to feel them, and some reminders of coping strategies. I can completely understand feeling worried about asking friends about a topic where they may feel sensitive or introspective (good friends to be thinking that way, by the way!), but good friends are supportive even if it may inadvertently hurt their feelings or make them question their own actions. I hope things look up for you, I hope that you feel supported by friends real-time and on-line, and I hope that you get that cancellation appointment soon! A good therapist at these times is worth a zillion bucks. Peace and love to you in these difficult times.

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    • You are so right when you talk about good friends, and the importance of a good counsellor – both are just so important to helping us through difficult times and helping us realize that our toughest emotions are normal. I am so thankful for our good in-real life and on-line friends – honestly, I don’t know how i could have made it through the last year of my life without the online community and the support and understanding that we share with one another!
      Oh, and I managed to get a cancellation appointment today, and I have a regularly scheduled appointment next week. 🙂

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  20. I spent 2 months in an inpatient treatment center about 6 years ago… It was the first time in my life that I had asked for help…it made he works of difference! Asking for help Isnt (at least in my eyes) considered a weakness…it’s considered strengths. It’s realizing that life and it’s joys or hardships aren’t meant to be loved through alone. You did the best thing you could have done for yourself. It makes me so proud for you that you were able to recognize that when we feel the shittiest is when we need others the most…sending hugs your way!

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    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience and your encouragement and loving words. I think the more we share about all of our struggles, the more we can help others in the long run. And really, we need to change the way our society looks at infertility, miscarriage and mental health.

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  21. whew girl! I am so stinkin proud of you for reaching out. I know that for me, sometimes, I will talk myself out of why I need to reach out and so I just “stuff” it down…and then one day…it will bubble back up and I end up saying or doing something that will hurt someone else…and that someone else isn’t even the one who hurt me to begin with. So with that said…YOU ROCK!! Love you sugars! xo

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  22. I am so proud of you for not only reaching out and asking for help but accepting the help and owning the ask. On top of that you are an excellent model by sharing your experience here. Yay you!

    I know the last few weeks have been very hard on you (and Mr. MPB). I truly hope that the coming weeks are gentler and that those of us who love and support you can be here when these road bumps and deep wounds come up along the way.

    I just skimmed some comments and am overjoyed to see how many others are proud of you and told you so too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much sweetheart! You know, you are were such a huge part of my support that day and I am beyond thankful for your kind words and love.
      Honestly, I’m still struggling with it all, but I am starting to feel a lot more like me again. I’m trying to give myself space to feel all the yucky emotions, but also to start remembering where there is happiness in our lives even if the last few weeks have been exceptionally shitty. And, I know if it weren’t for reaching out for help and connecting with people who support me, I’d still be feeling miserable.

      Liked by 1 person

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