Hello, my name is Jen and I have Strong Independent Woman Syndrome.
Somewhere along the way, I told myself that anything worth doing was worth doing myself. That I couldn’t count on anyone but me. That I was too strong to ask for help or to accept it. Being a strong independent woman made me invincible to disappointment. Well, unless you count being disappointed in yourself.
Even when I knew I should have asked for help I didn’t. I couldn’t let anyone know that I couldn’t do everything myself. That I was, well, human. Asking for help was the same as telling someone you’re weak.
Thankfully, wonderful people in my life have stepped in and offered, fully knowing I would never ask. Jen, Marissa, Erin, and Debra helped me when I had emergency retina surgery. Poor Marissa even had to clean up after I threw up my T3s over and over again. I could hear her cleaning (she actually started making up a song and singing it) and although I couldn’t really move and felt so damn sick and nauseous, knowing she was looking after me burned shame and helplessness into my heart. And when Farren, Debra, and Erin brought me food, I ate it with tears in my eyes. Thankful and yet again, full of shame.
I’m getting better. In December, Rebecca and Tara made me lovely gluten-free Christmas suppers and I accepted. They offered knowing the alternative was me sitting at home eating cheese and crackers while crying about how lonely and disconnected I felt. I brought presents, wine and simply enjoyed myself. No tears. No sorrow.
When I needed to get my house cleaned up for my sale, I actually let Monty help. In fact, he was kind enough to clean while I finished client work and got through other priorities. He even cooked beautiful meals for me. It was awkward at first but then I let go. I know he was doing it to help me and that is was from a place of love. Far cry from two years ago when I would shy away from him even opening my car door.
Moving to a new place where I only know a few people and being a solo parent, I know I’m going to need to ask for help. Likely a lot of help. From finding a dentist, babysitters, bank, grocery store, places to buy furniture, and the cool ins and outs of my new town, I’ll need to rely on the kindness of others and be okay with asking for what we need. Yes, this gives me a little anxiety, but none of the big gross feelings I’ve had in the past. I know that I can’t do this all alone and that there are kind souls willing to help. I’ll also have my Edmonton friends for moral support, crowdsourcing on the internets, and my best friend Google. I can do this right?
Hello, my name is Jen and I ask for help when I need it. I also offer help whenever I can.
Bravely Skipping Forward (Jodi said, it is faster and more fun than walking)