Tuesday, February 2, 2016

I need help

As you can see from the 'about me' info to the right of this blog that I'm someone who holds all things very close.  I have always hated asking for help.  I mean I really hate it.  I hate asking for help because I don't want others to pity me.  I don't want them to try to fix the thing that I might be currently wrestling with.  I don't want someone hovering over me asking me if I'm Ok or if the situation is getting better.  Just like everyone else, I simply don't want to ask for help because keeping my pride in tack is more important than opening myself to others and leaning on them for assistance.

In these past several months I've been learning a lot letting your guard down and saying "I need help."

I'm not gonna' lie, the journey of letting your guard down has been a steep climb and while it might feel like the path has leveled out, it has not.

I have to say that I haven't been doing the heavy lifting in this journey.  The heavy lifting has been done by my sweet E.  Several months ago a normal question about homework created a crack in the damn that she had been building for quite some time.  Suddenly, we had a teenager who's heart, soul and mind were fragile. In the midst of damn breaking our teenager  trusted us enough to say I need help.

For those of you who are reading this and don't believe that mental health issues are real, maybe one day someone will come into your life to change your perspective.  Mental health does not merely improve when we change our attitude, try harder or ignore the symptoms.

E's request for help left us swirling emotionally.  These last several months have revealed a strong/deep anxiety that is specific to OCD.  While we might just think about OCD as rules surrounding germs or organization there are many varieties.  The rules that invade E's mind all have to do with ensuring personal safety.  Particular things must be completed in order for to feel safe.

From feeling anxious all of the time to managing her ADHD she has been teaching me the importance of letting your guard down, telling the truth and letting others in so that they can merely walk the journey with you.

In the midst of all of this, I continue to waver in shedding the layers of the emotional journey that have been swirling as I listen to a kid who is truly wrestling with so many things.  Some days the journey feels as though it's leveling out because her OCD is calm and simple things like homework being turned in can be celebrated.  As soon as I feel like I can take a breath, another struggle reveals itself and my heart is deep in the trenches trying to figure out how to best support (not enable) the situation as it is unfolding.

We're in this together as a family and for that I am beyond grateful.

Our lives are definitely not as seamless as they might appear.  In order to provide E with the support she needs, we're making weekly trips into Nashville (1.45 hr one way)for counseling, along with two weekly trips into Chattanooga (1.10 hr one way) for her math tutoring.  We're all learning how do work in odd places and at odd times.

And we are learning to ask for help from one another and from others.

I am still wrestling with how much to share and when to share it (I guess the cat is out of the bag).
I am still struggling to ask for help.

I am sharing but I do not want pity.
I am sharing but I do not want you to hover {over me or E}.
I am sharing but I do not want you to ask us a gazillion questions about how we are.

I am sharing and I want you to know that some of my closet friends have been walking this steep journey with me.
I am sharing because I know it's healthy for me to be honest.
I am sharing because maybe just maybe someone else reading this will be able to release just one layer that they've been holding in.

I have a long way to go in asking for help but I am learning thanks to the courage and bravery of my teenager who has asked for help more than once in these last several months.

{aside note:  I have the privilege of being a part of a place called Morton Memorial UMC. They love me and have given me the permission to be mom first, pastor second.  They want me to be healthy, they want E to be healthy spiritually and emotionally and for that I am beyond thankful.  They are my biggest cheerleaders}

Hoping that I'll be as brave as E has been in seeking the assistance of others and leaning into the village that surrounds me.

Is there something that you need to ask for help on?  Is there a part of your that scares you to death but would find restoration if you asked for help?  Just know this...the truth always sets us free and asking for help makes us stronger not weaker.