It had been a long couple of months, or a long year really. I started back to work, which required incredibly long hours, time away from my family and adjusting to a new normal for all of us. I was getting stretched so thin, running on adrenaline and cold coffee, when over a period of three weeks, I had four different people close to me pass away.
I was so stressed at work, trying to cover all of the bases, still maintain something that looked like our normal, and was dealt blow after emotional blow, all completely unrelated. I needed help, but I am not the kind of person who asks for help. I handle it. I can always handle it… until I couldn’t.
I shared with just a few close friends what was going on, and they had all offered to help. I smiled, shrugged as usual and assured them I was “Totally fine!” Because the last thing I would ever want anyone to do was to be concerned or inconvenienced by my stress. Isn’t that the way of a mother? To cover your own nest, and not inconvenience anyone else?
I was trying to balance the full-time work life, mom life with back to school after the COVID-break, and then mourning the loss of family and friends. I decided to delegate rolls I couldn’t cover alone. I needed a house cleaner because the laundry from months ago hadn’t moved, and a meal order service because drive-thru workers began to feel sorry for my kids. When your plate gets a little too full, take a step back, and take it one bite at a time.
I took to social media in search of help.
In search of a house cleaner and meal order service. Do you know what happened? My friends volunteered to help me, and they even started a meal train. I protested until I was blue in the face, but they showed up. My friends, acquaintances, and even those I barely knew, just showed up asking to help. I was completely blown away. I was able to cry, vent, melt, complain and cry again. My support system completely stepped up to support me. Why? I wasn’t sick, I didn’t feel nearly as deserving as those I had seen in my church group or prayer chains. Why were people helping me?
This is something that has touched me and has humbled me. I prayed quietly at night, for my friends and family I had lost in such a short amount of time. I prayed for peace and clarity and direction in my own life. I received such incredible, unwavering support from so many people. Was it because I don’t typically ask for help? Was it because my tribe knows me inside and out and knew I needed the help? I have no idea. They showed up and carried part of my load to make my breathing a little easier. I am so grateful.
If there is one lesson I have learned from this heartbreaking and heart-renewing experience: Let others help. The weight of the world often rests on mothers’ shoulders. However, there is another beautiful truth: We don’t have to carry it alone.
If you or someone you know is suffering or struggling with anything from depression, loss or stress and you are unable to rally troops to help support you, please know you are not alone. There are people all over able, willing and would be thrilled to help you. Please reach out and get the help you need. The world needs who you are, and needs your smile.
If you or someone you know is feeling too overwhelmed with life to cope, click here or call 1-800-273-8255 for help.