Have you ever found yourself doing some chore or everyday task in front of others and realized that everyone around you was just sitting around watching? It occurred to you that you are the only one doing any work! Better yet, have you ever found yourself overwhelmed with a task and you felt like you had been gasping for air for some time and that someone should have obviously noticed and tossed you a life preserve? You may find yourself at times thinking or screaming the words: “Can I get a little help here!”
This scenario (the first at least) plays itself out between a lot of married couples especially when it comes to household chores. I am usually quite content doing what I am doing when my wife decides to start cleaning up some mess around the house. I figure she is an adult and she knows her limitations and she knows how to ask for help if she wants it! Of course, we all know that doesn’t do much for the marriage relationship. A little sensitivity and a few brief moments of lending an extra hand can do wonders for any relationship. It seems like an obvious choice doesn’t it?
What may be true between husband and wife may or may not be true when it comes to a friend, a coworker or even a neighbor. It can be difficult to discern if and when to help those around us. We do not want to intrude. We do not want to overstep their boundaries. We do not want to do harm. And then there is that attitude: “they are adults and if they need help then they should ask for it.”
You know as well as I do that asking for help, sometimes in even the most simplest of matters can be a difficult undertaking. On the one hand I have a tendency to think I do not deserve the help. On the other hand I have a mindset that seems to believe people should see my need and help without me having to ask. Sometimes I am short-sided and think I can handle it. Other times I think I have waited too long and that asking for help now would be an insult to the other person. We start “shoulding” all over ourselves: I should have done this; I should have done that; they should….” There are even more rare occasions when we honestly believe we cannot be helped, it is futile, and I am destined to whatever the particular circumstance may be. This is a rotten place to be.
That is where I find myself these days. I am a life-long struggler with depression. Whether it was nature or nurture or a combination of both, I can’t remember a time in my life when depression and anxiety wasn’t a part of it. Besides taking medication and seeing a host of counselors over the years, I have never really understood how to ask for help, even when I truly need it. Sure, I have cried out to God asking Him to do something about it. I have likened it to the “thorn” in my flesh that balances me with as much good as it does bad but the fact is I hate it. Fact is, it’s as bad now as it ever has been. I am 41 years old, have two degrees, lots of experience and spend lots of time helping others but I am still not sure how to let others help me when it comes to this issue. We all get stuck somewhere and this is my somewhere. Pray for me and I will pray for you. In the mean time, if you need some help with something, please ask somebody.