Sharing the lessons along the way…


IMG_0154[1]So, really, what the bleep do I know about surrender?

Some days and with some things, I know a lot.  Other days and with other things, not always much at all.

When I left you last time, I had realized just how little I seemed to “get” about surrender when friends had already offered to help me do something that makes my pain worse.

A brave, dear friend left a comment agreeing that it would seem like I know very little about surrendering and allowing others to help me.

If you followed the pump surgery saga of 2010-2011, you may know that I have gotten so much better at asking and receiving help in this life.  But, you also know that surrendering to that notion continues to be a struggle.

To be honest, I had hoped to be back to being able to take care of my own sh#t.  That seems to be my measure of being “ok.”  I have had to be “dependent” on others for help with one thing or another in the past decade—enough for a lifetime if you ask me!

However, it appears that the universe did not ask me.  It appears that I need to shift my entire belief system about what all of this means.

Let me re-cap what I already know:

1.      Asking for help is a sign of courage, not weakness.

2.      Accepting/receiving help takes a bit more grace and strength than asking for it.

I believe these whole-heartedly, but struggle like hell to consistently practice them in real life.  I still need backed into the proverbial corner.

Here is what I realize happens as a result of my struggle (er, um, resistance):

1.      I isolate (and/or alienate) people for whom I care a great deal and who care for me.

2.     I disconnect myself from the “community” and social support that I (and we all) need to thrive.

Why would anyone do that?  Unfortunately, I have and I think the bottom line is my continued, long-standing belief that I should do and take care of all of my own stuff or I am not doing my part.  Once I take care of my own stuff, I can be of better service to others.

So, what happens if my chronic pain does not allow me to take care of my own stuff?

My reasoning does not account for that.  For a while, I tried beating my head against brick walls with doctors to fix the pain.  That did not work.  It is not a fixable pain.

For another while, I simply just didn’t (because I physically couldn’t) do my own stuff.  That was not an effective strategy either.

My last ditch effort was to do it anyway and to suffer through it.  My last blog post summarizes that experience, which was completely ridiculous. [Hence wearing the dunce hat sitting in the proverbial corner.]

The thing is, I can wrap my brain around temporary help.  I can ask for it and receive it pretty well now.  What I cannot wrap my brain around is having others help me with my own stuff on a long-term basis.

Here is my question for you this time:

If you needed to ask for help no end date, how would you come to terms with it?

Seriously, I want to know what you think! The more feedback the better.  Your comments help me to see what is right in front of me sometimes!

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Comments on: "What the bleep do I know?" (6)

  1. This is a tough one for me, too. My husband does a lot more than I do to maintain our home and I frequently have to do battle with guilt. He doesn’t mind but I don’t like it. When the guilt rises, I make myself give it up.

    • Thanks Pat! I am sure your hubby doesn’t mind at all and it is the least he can do to try to fix something. I am trying hard to wrap my head around this on a more long-term basis. I like the idea of using social support for just that “social” support. Although, I am pretty sure I have faulty categories in my brain for such things, so I am working on it!

  2. aww, hug Tawny, please let your friends help you, and be grateful. Maybe making it a ‘fun’ thing would help….rotate ( they’ll be fighting over you 😉 ), make a calendar, have laundry day or shopping day….I sure could have used a vacuuming day today, lol, and we won’t even discuss laundry. However you can make it work, do it, especially since you know there are plenty folks who would love to be able to give back to you………
    Take this advice from someone who has always helped anyone who asked, even if it were inconvenient….though now I’m only good for watching pets, or parents as long as they can ambulate. I was down to only one person who needed me, my son, and then so many people shoved it down my throat that since he’s an adult now, he doesn’t need me anymore either. It’s a really cruddy feeling, and maybe you have some friends like that too, who thrive on helping others and are lost without being needed by anyone for anything.
    Also take this advice from someone who only has one person to help them. I cringe and shudder and often cry for a few days before asking my sister for help, yet her answer is always the same…”Whatever you need.” Now she will have to take off work four times in April to help me with medical appointments. Even worse than not being needed, I am a burden, or feel like one anyway, and we also won’t discuss where that takes my mind.
    So please Tawny, let your very willing friends help you, if for no other reason than I need you to. 😉

    • Thanks T! We did the spreadsheet for after the surgeries. I already feel so much better having the laundry monkey off the plate. Widening the circle is a challenge, or at least it was for me. The irony is that now I have widened it, but am resisting it. Oh, the universe at its irony! Hugs back at ya and good luck with the medical stuff in April!

      • Thank you too T! (giggle) Thought about this a bit, and still believe the rotating thing is the best idea for you. Am thinking that if you can avoid relying on one person for for any length of time you might feel better about accepting the assistance. For example, if you needed help with three things in one week, let a different person help with each thing rather than needing help from the same person all week. Might be a pain scheduling at first, but maybe worth a try! 🙂 Question…..In your ‘old life’ did you ever even imagine the concept of laundry being a hard task?

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