For the past week I have been more or less bedridden as I deal with an unexpected bout of vertigo. (well I suppose something like that is never “expected”, but I digress). For those who haven’t experienced the joys of vertigo, it is quite simply the most debilitating thing I can remember experiencing. I needed — need — help. I worked up the nerve to actually ask for some, mostly related to my dog. But at the end of the day, I didn’t accept any.
I can’t. I don’t know why. For years I have so desperately wanted and needed help in a million different ways. But I rarely, if ever, accept the offers.
I think in some ways I’ve taken the perspective that I’m better off dealing with things on my own, maybe from too many experiences of frustration and personal let downs due to unmet expectations that others will be there for me. Why give myself the potential to be disappointed in the first place? It’s only my fault if I expect people to act a certain way, and they ultimately don’t. I only have control over my own actions.
Admittedly, this approach has given me a bit of a chip on my shoulder. I may be “alone” and “by myself”, but don’t you ever think that means I can’t handle every piece-of-shit obstacle that life throws at me. Fuck you if you think I need help.
The funny thing is, I am realizing more and more that this attitude is making me weaker, not stronger. There is nothing wrong with asking for or accepting help (I say twitching wildly). I have no problem giving help if/when/where needed, so why do I find it so painfully hard to receive it? Would it have been so awful to let someone take the dog? To ask for a few grocery items (that I would pay for of course, I’m not looking for handouts)? To have help with some household chores?
Thank you to everyone who called, texted, emailed, offered help and support. I am sorry that I am incapable of accepting your kindness. Maybe next time I will learn to open up and trust a bit more, and to not be so afraid of letting people see how vulnerable I am.