The Struggle of Asking for Help

As mobileWOMEN, often we find ourselves in situations where needing help can be a humbling experience. But there are other times when needing help can leave us with a feeling of humiliation! It can be frustrating to be in the position of being dependent upon others when often, inside, we feel fiercely independent and would do anything not to have to ask for help. At first, we might think, “I’ll go without," or "I’ll just skip … “ whatever the need may be. But over time, we may come to realize that needing help is a reality we cannot avoid and making peace with that is all part of the battle.

But here are important questions to ask: Is this way of thinking beneficial to us? Is it really worth suffering or obsessing? Are we afraid that someone will be upset with us if we ask? Perhaps that is the case in some situations, but not always.

What if we looked at the circumstances with a different perspective? Maybe we are missing an opportunity to share an experience with another human being--a snapshot in time where two people can connect, an honest, positive exchange of the human spirit. At times, people may want to help, but feelings of uncertainty of how to do so can arise. Other times, people may become concerned that their actions could offend someone. Helping another human being can be extremely rewarding, so why not push your pride aside and allow that person into your world for a small moment in time? You may just make that person’s day, which could have otherwise been another hectic, meaningless one.

Remember, be kind  to yourself as it's alright to need assistance. Everyone will, at some point in time. And try to remember these quotes the next time a need arises:

“The hardest thing isn’t needing help. The hardest thing is being brave enough to ask for it.” – Anonymous

 “The strong individual is one that asks for help when he needs it.” – Rona Barrett, columnist and businesswoman.

“Asking for help does not mean that we are weak or incompetent. It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence.” – Anne Wilson Schaef, author.

Here's an example of a meaningful exchange written by one of our mobileWOMEN: 

The Last Swim

by Andrea Cronrod

“Excuse me, sir, would you be able to help me down to the ocean so I can swim? I will be leaving Florida tomorrow and it would make me happy to get in the water today.”

“I would be glad to. Let me go throw my coffee cup in the trash,” he replied, with a big smile on his face.

Early morning sun glistened on the calm water. Conditions looked perfect after the morning surf check, though little waves sometimes deceive and can send me onto shore doing somersaults.

I had decided to ride my scooter to the crossover at the park and find someone who’d backpack me down to the water. A few weeks ago, a friend dragged me on a board by a rope. Two years ago, I had been carried by three men and baptismally dunked in the Pacific Ocean. Last year, friend Ati scooped me up like a ragdoll from my wheelchair, manfully releasing me like a captured fish returning to the sea. Calm waters were infrequent in Melbourne Beach, so I needed to take advantage of an ideal situation when one arose.

“I can walk down the stairs,” I answered, “and if you could carry me across the sand, wait for me while I swim, and then carry me back up the crossover would be great. You don’t have any back problems, do you?”

“My back has been good for awhile so it should be fine.”

With his shoulder for support on one side and the railing on the other, we slowly proceeded down the steep steps. I was thrilled to be on the sand again and venturing towards the shoreline. After awkwardly carrying me on his back a goodly distance, he lowered me into the shallow water. Though it was murky from all the recent rain, my body and soul oohed and aahed in silent agreement.

“I can crawl and swim from here. Will you wait for me?” I inquired like a child fearful of abandonment.

“I will be right here,” he assured me.

Back and forth, freestyle, crawl, kicking legs in different motions, circles with my feet, to working underused limbs and torso. The kindly gentleman was standing at the water’s edge staring intently like a concerned parent as I yelled to him.

“Are you okay, can I stay longer?”

“Take your time,” he affirmed.

After twenty minutes of frolic, I decided to swim towards shore so as not to overly exert. The man came closer to see how I wanted to exit. As I was trying to explain the situation, a few tiny waves broke, crashing me into the sand bottom. A vulnerable position to be so close to the ground and pulverized like a shell smoothed and battered after years of ocean power on its exterior.

“Let me crawl out of the water a ways.”

The plan was to have him help me stand on my wobbly legs. With his hands under my armpits, I managed to get upright and slowly inch around and support myself for loading onto his back. A bit shakily at first, he lifted me piggyback, and after regaining his balance, began walking back to the stairs. I could see people on the crossover watching as we approached.

“This is a good workout,” he gasped, under the strain of my human one hundred and ten pounds.

“You can do it, you can do it, we are almost there,” I chimed to my choo choo train as we inched up the stairs.

He plopped me on my scooter and I noticed a man with a cane and another stranger alongside him staring intently. “I’m so thrilled to see this accomplishment. I’ve been far and wide around the world until a cerebral pulmonary disabled me,” the injured man exclaimed. He proceeded to expound in some detail about his adventures. As I shook hands and thanked the man who helped me, a special moment of oneness and connection resonated amongst us all.

Special note from Andrea: 

After many years in the fast lane and then the tranquility of nature’s embrace, accumulated health issues changed my focus from physicality to spirituality. I have no great history of penmanship to attest to, and only pursued the call to write a few years ago after attending writing groups and being well received.  I began being published of recent so am continuing to pursue that avenue of expression.

Having only been in a mobility scooter and wheelchair since 2004, I remain creative in adaptability techniques and find satisfaction in solutions and joys I can share with others. My late blooming relationship with God taught me how to deal with challenges which changed the course of my reality and focus. Faith and trust in God is most important in our walk through life.

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