Is it easy for you to ask for help when you need it, or do you prefer to rely only on yourself? Why?
I am a rock, or so I have been told today by a colleague who had a severe panic attack following an altercation with a fellow colleague in the office. We stand outside while she puffs away vigorously at her cigarette hurling obscenities at our colleague. I stand, watch and listen while offering what I believe to be very little in terms of support. kneeling down to her level, I comfort her and direct her attention away from her state of panic. I encourage her to breathe slowly and slow her pressured speech. My perseverance prevails. She began to breathe slower, speech returning to normal. Tears still roll down her eyes but she is calmer. She hold my hand. I feel the panic in her hand, it shakes, its clammy and cold. She looks at me, indicating that she is ready to return. I see her eyes. There is gratitude and there is relief too. So we walk back to the office, my colleague with red puffy eyes and a sombre look on her face. Angry, frustrated and tired. She links her arm in mine, and hold on tight with her head bowed. I walk in, eyes staring at me like I’ve just dragged in an alien. ‘Thank you’, she said again as we sit down, ‘you have been my rock today, I really do not how I could have managed the situation. I’m here if you ever need me’, she said; ‘do not be afraid to ask for support when you need it’. I was grateful for the gratitude and the hand in support offered to me.
I’ve been dwelling on the entire event ever since. The words echo in my head ‘do not be afraid to ask for support when you need it’. The truth is there was a period of time in my life where I relied heavily on most people around me for everything, particularly emotional support. Unfortunately despite relying on the person, there has been a lack of emotional or any other kind of support there. Slowly and eventually I have learnt to rely on myself heavily and make myself more self-sufficient particularly emotionally. It’s difficult to ask for help and support at a low point in your life only to be turned away or be let down. When asking for help, it is highly likely that you may already be struggling which may be making you feel slight vulnerable or outside of your comfort zone, but to then be ridiculed or to be brushed aside, is not really worth it?
Although it’s not hard for me to ask for help when needed, I usually prefer to rely on myself. To me its, taking full responsibility for the situation and an opportunity to learn something. In order to be a rock, I need to be a rock myself and yes its OK to sometimes say I really don’t know what I’m doing and feel almost isolated but its a lot easier than disappointment. When such situations arise, I take the back seat, reflect and try to make sense of it all. It’s important for me to know and accept that some things are out of my control and punishing myself over it or looking for a solution is often not an option. As a ‘rock’ I’m able to empower myself with the experiences of others and learn. It’s important for me not to take things personally or to heart. This is what helps me, this is what sustains me and for me life is full of moments when you must be your own rock your own saviour. Its most definitely worth it and its fulfilling.
I place myself in the periphery of a group and try to help others according to my capabilities. When tired, I can take a break, no one really notices I’m taking it. When I’ve had a rest, I go and be useful again. I don’t ask for anything in return, I just enjoy being a part of the scene. I don’t aim high, I just be helpful. In this way, no one wants from me more than I am capable of giving and also I don’t feel “used”. I find my happiness there.