Help Is Not a 4-Letter Word

goteamThe hardest part of our move to Providence was having to re-build our support system. We had to find babysitters, stat, so work could get done, bills could get paid, date nights could be had, and minds would not be lost. Once we had some semblance of a reliable weekly schedule, we needed doctors, dentists, and hair stylists. Next up, a cleaning person–I tried to save money by going without one, but with twice the square footage of our former apartment, my nightly sweeping practice was taking twice as long, and I hadn’t even swept the upstairs. And I simply cannot think when every step I take results in a crunching noise.

Once we’d gotten those basics in place, I thought I was done with the support thing.

The bad news: I was wrong. The good news: I have never been so happy to be wrong in my life!

Because I am a huge proponent of taking great care of yourself—particularly in times of great stress, as moves always are—I booked myself a massage. Yelp led me to an angelic masseuse (thank you, hive mind!), who really helped me see how crappy I felt. After a couple of monthly visits, she told me, “Your entire left side is shorter than the right, and your hips are so tight I’m afraid something might pop when I’m working on them.” No wonder I felt like an old lady each morning when I got out of bed; I knew it was happening, but I was being stoic. Then her entire being lit up as she referred me to her chiropractor. Something about the look on her face told me this was an introduction I needed to pursue. One visit to the chiropractor later (and a diagnosis of a sprained sacroiliac joint), my hips no longer felt like they were made of glass. I could get out of bed with no old-lady shuffle required. I was beginning to feel like my old self again.

Taking steps to get back to a baseline of happiness was important. But by then I’d gotten hooked by the idea that there was lots more goodness to be had. So I swallowed hard, offered up my credit card, and signed on to work with a business coach (the incredible Darla at Align and Profit.) And I’m on track to have my best month ever—by a very big margin–in 8 years of writing, and making great strides at bringing a new vision for myself, my career, and my clients to life. Let me tell you, it feels good.

Now I’m hooked on the idea of enlisting the aid of professionals. Once those checks start rolling in, I’m hiring a trainer and finding a naturopath to help me find the diet that works best for me.

What do you need help with?
Do yourself—and your friends, and the trained professionals who work in your community—a favor. Ask for the help you need. And not just the help you need to not be miserable, or in pain. Be bold and ask for what you need to be fabulous and feel fantastic. You are so worth it.

Sometimes it costs money. Sometimes it costs pride. But what you stand to gain by enlisting help is a deeper connection to yourself—since you have to know how you’re feeling in order to know what to ask for—and to others—since refusing to ask for help makes you seem aloof and keeps others at a distance. Think of your friend who needs help right now. Wouldn’t you just love to help her with whatever she’s struggling with? Don’t you feel a little bit shut out of her life because she’s absorbed by whatever’s going on? Wouldn’t you be thrilled to help if she would only ask?

Share your story
Who’s on your support team? What key player or players do you need to find? Leave a comment and tell me something about the support system you already have in place or the one you hope to create. Five commenters will win a great little helper—particularly as winter sets in—Nozin, a fresh-smelling nasal swab that kills germs before they have a chance to get you sick. Think of it as hand sanitizer for your nose. (I use it before flights or when I notice my kids have a new sniffle.)

Take care and keep breathing,


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4 thoughts on “Help Is Not a 4-Letter Word

  1. I need help eating well and exercising. Also to re-start my daily practice of writing and drawing.

    My good friend is studying herbalism, so she was kind enough to give me a consultation and send me off with a mixture of healthy herbs to take daily. She also recommended a multivitamin and some dietary changes.

    I’m finding it pretty easy to take the herbs and vitamins, but changing everything else is hard. Once I’m exercising or doing creative things I feel super, but taking the first step is so difficult. It’s frustrating. 🙁 I wish I had someone to remind me daily, without judgement, of my goals and to get started. Maybe I should ask Siri to remind me! LOL!

  2. Hey Olivia. I so agree — getting started is so hard. Well, perhaps you’re trying to do too much too soon? Stick with the herbs and vitamins until you notice a perk in how you feel. Then use that extra energy or oomph to do something else different, and keep reinvesting the dividends. I feel that we try to do everything, wear ourselves out with all that change at once, and then give up when we don’t feel a change within a couple of days. In my experience, it takes 3-4 weeks of a new habit to really feel the effects. So maybe, ask Siri for help being patient, and then just keep taking your baby steps. (P.S. my husband has a new iPhone and Siri has yet to give us a decent answer! I am a Siri skeptic.)

  3. Great article! I was just telling a friend that 2011 has been my year to get help/support. I also work with Darla; but this year, my husband and I have been seeing a relationship coach/therapist and we also talked to child psych a few times—not because there is something “wrong,” but rather, to be better parents and better communicators with each other. I’ve learned this year to stop thinking in terms of what’s wrong, and instead, getting help to make what’s right even more right. (A good way to look at it when you’re naturally adverse to seeking help!) I’m so glad it’s changing stuff for you, too!

  4. Thanks for the advice to make gradual steps, Kate! Yeah, I tend to have like 10 million life changes and big choices happening at once then keep things at status quo for about 3 years, then start over again. I’m vegan– I don’t know the meaning of middle-ground! As I get older, being okay with not doing things in an extreme or perfectionist fashion is definitely something I am discovering I should work on though.

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