Monday, May 25, 2009

Accepting Help

I am a do'er. An administrator. A helper. A person who enjoys being busy. Need someone to organize a meeting? Write a brochure? Teach a class? Take over the social events for half a camp ground? I am HAPPY to do that.

What I am NOT is someone used to accepting help for myself. Although I am so grateful for the kindness and generosity of friends and family its hard to shake of the embarrassment of NEEDING help.

Somethings are easier to understand embarassment wise. My MOTHER bathed me. Twice. Why? Well it was either accept help or stay dirty, so help in the form of my mother was required. If you know me (or heck know my mother!) you know what a stretch this was.

But its also embarrsing to admit that my family is enjoying the food from the tables of others. Many others. My freezer is like a catalogue of casseroles as friends, co-workers, neighbours and virtual strangers drop off food to feed an army, and satisfy my sons. I am so grateful because the idea of being required to cook for the masses right now is exhausting, the reality would be worse. But still, I wish I could just DO IT.

A friend went grocery shopping for me yesterday. I ASKED her to. Its embarassing to admit that "we" are stretched too thin, but also wise to be honest. My pain levels are high, my energy levels are low. I had been back in the hospital with some minor, although painful, complications this weekend and I am tired, Shel is exhausted and we simply needed help.

Another friend spent a free morning helping with the house work. It's an impossibility for me to try to vacuum right now, and well, although very well intentioned, the men around here just don't SEE dirt the same way as me.

I called a counsellor to get help for a son that is struggling with all the stress. I am not enough to solely help him through this difficult time. He needs help, and I need help to help him.

Hopefully learning some humility, graciousness in expressing gratitude and a huge stack of thank you cards will pull me through until I can return the favor.

In the mean time I am going to go lay on the couch and practice doing nothing. It's far harder than it sounds!


Dana K said...

I totally get you Jen! When I called a family member years ago and asked them to come help me my entire family went into shock. I know you and can imagine how hard this is for you!

You are the doer, organizer extraordinaire, the person everyone comes to for advice, help, a shoulder, hugs or great beverages and even better conversation. That's WHY so many are lining up to help you. They are so happy to finally be able to return the love you have so often bestowed on them!

I can't help from here BUT I can bring some strawberries and tequila to camp next month! :0)

birthmothertalks said...

It's got to be hard to accept help. I hope your on feet soon, but happy that you have family and friends that care about you.

Tina B. said...

I believe there is nothing quite so humbling and I am sure I would feel exactly the same way.
I am thinking of you guys often and remember I am 2 minutes away (30 seconds if I run) if you need anything at all - I will graciously help without making it seem like I am!
Hang in there and try to focus on you. Hugs.

Julia said...

Jen...just remember the saying "what comes around, goes around."

You are usually the "doer", the "helper", the "giver" is now your time to be the "receiver". You have helped so many others during your life, let them return the favor to you right now. You so deserve it anyhow! :)

Colleen said...

Jen, You do so much for other people, probably without even knowing you are doing it. The rest of us are blessed to be able to help out, where ever we can, with what ever we can :-)

Lala's world said...

I struggle with the same thing, would rather pay a stranger then ask a friend or family for help! that was before all the crisis in our life, I have learned to ask!
sounds like you are learning the same tough lesson!
wish I was closer and I could help too!