I need help. Those are three simple words. Why then are they so difficult to get out?
I’ve been trying to do this cancer thing by myself. While I update my friends and family pretty regularly about my condition, I’ve been going at everything alone. I go to my various doctor appointments alone. I’ve been pretty hush-hush with my feelings, keeping them to myself. My friends offered to help to raise money for my treatment but I told them that I can handle paying for it by myself. At the end of the day, I tell myself that cancer is my battle and that I am my own army. I am a lone wolf.
Okay, I’m not.
I know why I don’t ask for help. I push people away, especially ones that care the most. I don’t think that I deserve their help. I don’t want to bother people with “meaningless” and trivial things and things that I should know how to do already. I don’t want to look stupid or needy. I don’t want to feel incompetent if I can’t do that thing. I don’t want to be judged. I don’t want to make it weird. There’s the reciprocity aspect. I have the greatest fear of rejection- in all its forms. After all, I don’t like saying “no” to people. Sometimes, I just don’t know who to or how to properly ask.
I’ve been told countless times that asking for help is a sign of strength. I still have a hard time believing that it is (I just want to be independent!). But I’m starting to work through this, slowly reaching out. I’ve always been okay asking my parents but now, I’m branching out to my friends. Instead of feeling humiliation, I tell myself that I’m depriving my friends (who’d love to help!) of the opportunity to do so. It’s one big circle of service.
My friend, Elli, constantly reminds me that cancer is treated by a village. I have my team of doctors and medical specialists but need my team of support. Even the leaders of the teenist towns have teams- I can still be the mayor. I’m swallowing my pride and my fear and all of my other negative thoughts and feelings. It’s a tough pill to get down but I know that it’s something that I have to do and master. We can all do so much more together than we ever can alone.
How do you ask for help, dear reader?