I’m going through an emotionally difficult time in my life (I’ll tell you more about that later). What I will tell you now is that I’m coming to the realization that I can’t do it alone. Believe me, I want to. I want to be able to stand on my own and dodge every blow directed at me. But I can’t. And that’s hard for me to admit.
I am (slowly) learning that it’s ok to ask for help and it’s ok to accept help. There are two recent incidents that enforced this for me and I want to share them with you.
Last Friday was a really rough day for me. I was physically sick and emotionally exhausted. I shed more tears that day than I had in a very long time. My girlfriend and I were texting and she said she was going to come over to give me a hug. I looked at the clock and told her while I appreciate the thought, there’s no way there was enough time. I had to pick the boys up from daycare; there was all that Friday afternoon traffic; it just wasn’t practical. She said she wanted to come anyway. So she did.
You guys, she came to my house to give me a hug.
She came to my house.
To give me a hug.
As I was looking out the window, waiting for her, I started to feel guilty. Why would she want to do this? I mean, she’s going forty-five minutes out of her way. She’s a mom too. She has a thousand things to do. Why is she doing this? This is totally not necessary.
When she walked in the door, I embraced her and just stood there with my head on her shoulder. (Was it seconds? Minutes?) I exhaled and let so much stress and sadness go in that embrace. And she took it in.
Then she sat and listened.
I may have been incoherently babbling or making complete sense. I don’t know. I just know I had to get it all out. And I did. And again, she took it in.
Then she left and we went on with our days. And my soul was refreshed.
This past weekend I got together with my former college roommates. About a million years ago when I started college, I met Missy, and we had an instant connection. We swore, like young people do, that we would stay friends forever and we would never lose touch. Well, we got older and life happened and we lost touch. We both became mothers. So many years passed. As I was driving to meet up with her for the first time in sixteen years, I felt a little anxious. Surely we were different people now.
When I got out of my car, she came out to greet me. With outstretched arms, she came to me, with that same kind face that I fell in love with years ago. We hugged. Once again, I was surprised by the emotion as I stood there with my old friend. And again, she listened to me. And we hugged some more. And it felt so good.
It’s hard to admit when you feel vulnerable. It’s hard to admit when you’re struggling. But if you are – for any reason – here’s my advice: don’t do it alone. Talk to your friends and family, and if they offer support, accept it. You would do the same for them, right?
Don’t underestimate the power of a simple gesture like a hug or a phone call. You are worthy of their effort. Don’t feel guilty. Feel appreciative. Feel thankful. Let them take in your sadness and weakness.
And then get back up, refreshed and armed with their strength, and keep dodging those blows.
This post is part of a week-long CT Working Moms blog series.