Sunday, September 24, 2017

Learning to Ask for Help

I'm writing this close to National Mental Health Awareness and it seems fitting. Recently I have been dealing with some health issues, that caused me to ask my husband to stay home from the gym. The gym is my husband's passion, and he looks forward to it everyday after work. So for me to ask him to stay home and help really meant I wasn't feeling well. I was texting a friend, feeling like shit about the fact I was so sick and so dependent on my husband. Luckily, without me explicitly saying anything, she picked up on my state and told me she was coming over the next morning.

I woke up to a text saying she was close with a cup of coffee. Anyone who knows, coffee is the way to my heart. Show up with a coconut latte, and we will be friends forever. After chatting for an hour about people we knew from high school and generally catching up, she informed me she wanted a day with my puppy. She told me I should take the time to relax. I didn't say no, but let her know about all his puppy-isms. "Are you sure, he bites the leash and barks like crazy?" "Well, make sure if he is too much, you just put him in his crate."
Looks furry destroys everything

She informed me she was sure, and that she was going to be at her mom's so he would have a huge backyard to play in. Once they left, the house seemed eerily quiet. What was I supposed to do? I all of a sudden had a day off that I didn't have to take a puppy for multiple walks, train, and generally entertain. I started to think, "oh I should clean the kitchen, make all those phone calls, and cross things off my list."

I started to this because it felt right. Why when I had unexpected free time, would I not try to be efficient and effective. Once I got a few things crossed off my list, I thought I would treat myself to watching a TV show. Quickly I found myself asleep and waking up to the point where I told my friend I would pick up the dog. How did a whole day pass me by? Slightly grumpy of all that "wasted time," I got in the car to pick up the dog.

When I got to my friends' house, we found ourselves chatting for a couple of hours. We spoke about serious stuff, we vented, we belly was exactly what we both needed. After this conversation we had to part ways, but I remember driving away with this feeling. I didn't know whether I should continue laughing or cry from the amazing interaction I had.

How I feel when my sister comes to visit

It was amazing because I felt re-energized, refreshed, and anew from both the nap and the conversation. I wasn't super productive; neither the nap or conversation was on the list I wrote earlier that day. But I slowly realized that wasn't the point, and it wasn't what I had needed. What I needed was to take a break, and I didn't even realize it. Luckily I had a friend with a keen sense of emotional intelligence.

The next few days I noticed a new step and attitude in myself. I was rolling with the punches of life easier, and I was more productive to boot. Occasionally, I would be working on a project and think back to our conversation and laugh. The laughter carried on for some time, and I hope I remember this next time I'm feeling this way. We are all human and need breaks. I also hope that I remember it is okay to ask for this help. We all need it, and we need to create a society where it is socially acceptable to ask for a mental health day. Learning to Ask for Help


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