Skip to main content

When The Helper Needs Help

Eighteen days ago, I had my first surgery. Second, if you count tonsil. I wasn't nervous and actually, aside from the care of my fur buddy Swag, I was excited to begin the process. Jokes pre-admission, pre-surgery, directly after and all throughout the beginning of this healing process, I stayed who I am. The other day, as I grabbed my cane, gingerly tip-toeing about the kitchen, assembling my breakfast, it dawned on me; This isn't even the fifth hardest thing I've gone through in the last six months.

Physical pain isn't really a thing to me. I've been in a constant state of it since 1997, or maybe 1998, not sure. Emotional pain, much longer. Even longer than I realized. So pain, in all it's forms, feels natural. This is not a macho assertion, but my level of pain, within my own life, is always measured against others and it makes me feel severe, even crippling guilt to complain. Sure, I'll complain about my teams, politics and the forty days of shoveling snow, but not pain, in any form.

The past three years, I've waited for things to turn around and while preliminary results show this hip will heal faster than even I thought, it's just the beginning I hope. I've gone through the worst three years of my life, much of it do to revelations, realizations and (gasp) epiphanies, but that is not to say, I don't hold much of the blame. As a good friend continues to hammer into my pea brain, "You need to stop expecting people to behave as you would. They are not you and they are not going to change." It's like that Einstein quote on insanity, which he said or didn't, I refuse to check. During the past year I've hit my own personal rock bottom and the irony is, I did it sober and living the cleanest, most frugal and healthy I've ever known. The problem was, I did it alone. Mentally and physically, I was literally alone. While I had outside support, it wasn't the emotional, physical or physiological type, it was monetary, which, if you've ever had to ask, is as crippling as a physical disease.

I do appreciate the help, which over the past few months has become more than just a loan, but it still hurts how abandoned I was, and even more, how I felt. The true irony is, that during this time, I seemed to help others as much, if not more, than ever. I do have to say, I have two friends, a brother and sister-in-law, who have been ridiculously altruistic. One of these people, I've not seen in 17 years, and was a child when we last spoke. I will never, ever forget him. I take a lot for granted, but I will never take for granted those who have been there for me. They are few and they deserve much more than thanks.

So today, I am writing because I needed to ask for help, from the one person I want nothing from. I asked, not because I need it now, but I may need it later. I asked, because an event will take place soon and god forbid something we to happen, it's important that my anger do nothing to add to it. I did, because I'm exhausted. I did, because I now know, the value of $10. I did, because, I don't want someone else to suffer, albeit in a minor fashion, because of my shortcomings.

I don't think it will ever be easy or even easier. Much like relating to an illness or death, asking for help is something that stays with you, because it bonds you to another soul. I am trying not to make this a habit, but while sitting in a hospital one morning, a smile made me realize, it's sometimes asking for something as little as assistance, that makes someone else's day and that realization brought us both to tears.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

11 Rules of Life - Bill Gates?

I read this on Facebook this morning.  A friend had posted it and said that every child should have to receive this. I of course read it and started to think.  I immediately wondered who really wrote this, as I rarely see things like this attributed to the proper person.  I immediately found it was written by Conservative Charles J. Sykes when he wrote a book about how America is dumbing down our youth.  I read it twice and started to wonder how true it was.  Below is a link to the actual picture I saw.





So let's look at each of the rules and analyze them.

Rule 1: Life is not fair — get used to it! - Life is not fair in that we are not all afforded the same opportunities based on race, creed, color, socio-economic background, but in general, those who are afforded the same opportunities to succeed are very often rewarded for their individual efforts.  Sure there may be underlying circumstances, but hard work is proven to pay more often than not and those who strive for success, migh…

Out Of Options

Two winters ago, I was in a bad place. Physically, financially, but especially emotionally. Life, which has rarely been anything I could view as fair, had really begun to weigh me down. I was living in a motel room, paid for by my brother while awaiting a move to another state. A little late research revealed my soon-to-be new home was a bit of a nightmare. Think of Melrose Place with meth and hookers. The idea of flying halfway across the country with my cat, Swag, and less than $200 in my pocket was scary. Leaving everything I knew wasn't what scared me, it was knowing deep in my heart, I'd never return. 
It's always easy to put off keeping up with people when you're close, but as I've learned over the last four years, distance tests friendships, even those we view as true. One can't imagine the alienation of being broke, physically unable to walk, and having to rely on a motel staff's daily pleasantries to remind yourself you're alive. At times I que…

In Memoriam

For Shane

Yesterday, I sat in the library, thinking of you. As I pored over vegan recipes, tales of medieval monks, and descriptive biography of Yasujiro Ozu, I thought about you more. Who else could I call and discuss all three? Who else would be able to add insight to my last meal, movie, and chapter? I was tempted to walk, arrive work sweaty, but feeling accomplished, but a bump in the rode arose and I found myself driving. You'd have scoffed, claimed I took the easy way or accused me of always avoiding the circuitous route, in favor of ease. I'd agree, then buy you a beer.

Last night, I thought about us twenty-five years ago, maybe more. Rows of six dimes stacked on the bar. Cold Schaefer puckering our lips. Commenting on the old-timers, of which I am now one. You're not here to share those moments, that repartee or the serious moments we often shared. With every meal, movie and mountain life throws at me, I miss you more. There were years where we only spoke once. Thi…