Do I Or Do I Not Need Help

I don’t want help.

I can do it myself.

I could use a little help.

But I want to do it myself.

I need help.

But I want to do it myself.

 

How many times does this conversation go through your head?

Family, social media, books all teach you to be independent. Do it yourself. Dont rely on others to get where you need to go.

But we are also encouraged to help others. Help others that can’t help themselves.

But often those who need help don’t want help. They want to move, function, do things themselves. By themselves. FOR themselves.

That over rated sense of self. Of ME. Of .. I am a person and enjoy the personal satisfaction of doing and achieving something BY MYSELF.

We all know we are never “by ourselves.” If we are a fairly normal human being there is always someone around you to be your companion, sounding board, and helper.

Yes, helper.

This becomes more apparent the older you get, the sicker you get, the more immobile you get. That sense of self gets in the way of letting someone else help you out.

A family member of mine needs a lot of help. Walking around, taking his blood sugar, bending over and picking things up and hearing and seeing. He has never been Mr. Independent, but he has lived by himself for a number of years. He needs others’ help.

Infirmity has taken its toll.

He needs help getting in and out of cars. Reading labels. Hearing the TV. Giving himself an insulin shot.

Yet he still tries to do it himself. Even if the movement, the action, puts him in more danger. In more pain.

I understand that feeling. Getting older I’m more prone to forget, drop, ache, move slower, not understand instructions. I still move around okay and am active in family and projects and crafts and reading and movies. So I’m okay.

For now.

But I feel that resentment when someone comes around and says “Let me help you.”

Like — I’ve done this thing all my life — it’s never been a big deal — why do I suddenly need help?

I admit now that I’m no longer that stubborn where I won’t ask for help. Resistant? Sometimes. Honest? More so. Can’t open a jar? Can’t reach something on the second shelf? Can’t lift a big bag of dog food? Okay. I ask for help.

But most things I can do on my own.

Until one day I won’t be able to. Like my friend.

I hope that we all are aware of our ego and pride standing in the way of making ourselves better. Pride never helped anyone pick up a fork off the floor when your body is in pain. Ego never lent a hand helping you pour juice with a shaky hand or helped you put something together because you didn’t get the instructions.

Everyone wanted to help me when I lost my son. I learned very quickly that they did it out of love, out of desperation, out of guilt and out of honesty. I thought I didn’t need anyone’s help getting out of the cloud.

But I did.

And still do.

No man — or woman — is an island (John Donne or Simon and Garfunkel?).

Let someone else help.

 

 

10 thoughts on “Do I Or Do I Not Need Help

  1. So true! We just are too busy or too big or too insecure to admit it. There are ways we can do things for ourselves but still have someone help set us up or open the door for us. Give us a center so we can go straight sort of thing!

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  2. I read this post all the way through. I get the urge to say no to offers of help. Thanks for reminding me it is necessary sometimes. And with grieving, I found that I wanted someone to listen to me, not to “help”

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  3. I am going to be 70 in December. We get each other. And we have to get passed this ego thing of “I can do it all myself.” I’d rather do and see things with help than never see anything at all because I’m too stubborn to get help.

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  4. I have hated asking for help for certain things for a long time. I get ticked off when people automatically offer to “help”, misreading their intentions and thoughts. It’s that ME thing. Gotta get past that.

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  5. Hung up the phone after talking to my daughter about her coming to help me with some garden tasks and having her tell me that at some point I’m going to have to slow down. I laughed and was reminded of when I told my dad the same thing when he was in his 80’s. I’m only 70 this month so I figure I have plenty of time as long as I can get a little help with the big things now and then. Hung up the phone then checked my emails and there was this post! Uncanny!

    Yes, at first, I was resistant but then realized how much more I could accomplish of the things I CAN do when getting help with the things I CAN”T do. It’s all a matter of picking your battles, I guess. I find myself asking for help much more lately. Again, I’m reminded of my dad and how good it made me feel to be able to help him out toward the end of his life when he had given me so much help all through my life. How can I deny my children that same pleasure?

    It feels good to help someone in need. But it is hard to be on the needing end of it now. It probably has something to do with the universe keeping the balance or something like that. And, yes, it is much harder to accept help with grief and other emotional issues. Been there. All I know is that accepting that kind of help benefits everyone involved. Grief is something we all experience at some time or other and all of us will experience both the grieving and the consoling at some point in our lives. Let the balance happen.

    Still thinking of you and sending love and peace your way.

    Liked by 1 person

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