Why do I find it so difficult to ask for help?

There are a number of things in my life that would be SOOOO much easier if I would just give in and say to someone, “I can’t do this alone. Can you please help me?” But those words are difficult for me to say because in the past, asking for help or showing weakness has been held against me. So I find a way, do magic tricks, perform impossible feats in an attempt to do it all on my own. These attempts often end in disaster or tears or both; however, the memory of these disastrous ends do not deter me from repeating this behavior again and again (more of that insanity, eh?).

I think the number one reason why I don’t ask for help is that I don’t want to impose on anyone or become a burden. Maybe it’s something that carried over from my childhood. My mother was a single parent and worked several jobs to make ends meet. When she got home in the evenings she was tired so I didn’t bother her with petty issues. If I could handle it myself I would. If I couldn’t handle it myself I would FIND a way to handle it myself and I guess I still do that. I know that people have their own lives and problems and what right do I have to add my issues to that? And in the grand scheme of things my problems are pointless and minuscule though they seem monumental to me. If only this twisted logic would somehow make the tasks I need to complete simpler, but ultimately it further exacerbates the problem; adding another layer of unwarranted stress. Stress leads to other bad behaviors like drinking, insomnia, eating of junk food at odd hours of the night. I recognize the fault but I don’t know how to begin to overcome it.


 

4 Replies to “Why do I find it so difficult to ask for help?”

  1. *shudders with all to familiar clarity*
    It’s disturbing to read someone’s blog and see an exact carbon copy of my own shortcomings and what I battle with throughout my entire existence as a teen/in my 20’s now.

    Life kinda put me in a situation where from age 10, I had to learn to fend for myself and as a result, I trusted no one and didn’t want anyone to help me. At the same time, at home (hindsight being 20/20) I carried a huge weight of responsibility with helping run things and taking care of my younger sibling although at the time, I took it all as natural and became independent fairly fast.
    To ask for help to those who were kind enough to be concerned was a ‘bother’ a ‘burden’, their problems meant more than mine, I merely existed to help and support others.
    And the weird thing is I was happy like that, truly.
    To see those close to me be well was enough to justify my existence but it blinded me to the fact that while I may have been helping them I was also hurting those close to me at the same time, but I couldn’t see it.
    Fast forward 12 years, a major heartbreak and an emotional breakdown later, and then I could see what those close to me had been screaming at me for over a decade.

    – Friendship isn’t a one way street.
    – Those you support also want to support you in return.
    – When you feel good for helping, they feel the same for you too.
    – A problem shared is a problem halved.

    It’s a form of mental therapy to empty your mind cause if you are alike me, you’ll mentally take a blade and emotionally cut yourself to shreds, strengthening negative thoughts of pessimism, no self confidence, self worthlessness justifying that ‘I don’t really matter, no one has to bother with me’.
    To empty your mind also brings about a certain kind of peace, a calm which methinks may help with your insomnia some, perhaps.

    Confide in a very select few if you are fortunate to have such people and force yourself to speak. It doesn’t have to be ‘I need help’, it could simply be a set cue between your friends such as ‘I don’t think I should be alone… I’m not in a good place at the moment’
    In other words ’please help me’.

    At present, I still have days of 1 step forward, 3 steps back. It’s similar to working with an addiction, it doesn’t just go away, it’s something I have to force myself everyday to acknowledge my own emotions and tell myself ‘I am human with problems like everyone else, I do need support too, my problems aren’t trivial.’
    I have to force myself to bug a friend and say ‘I’m not in a good place…’
    I have to force myself not to shut up and tune out.
    (But they’re tuned now to know if I pull that stunt for a few days, they can and will kick my ass)

    And most importantly of all, now knowing how painful and heartbreaking it is to see someone fall apart and have them refuse to help you by not opening up, I can’t bear to inflict that kind of pain on those closest to my heart.
    So I keep on forcing myself to speak out, but you have to push yourself, don’t give up. 🙂

    It can begin with directing them to your blog here as I do with my LiveJournal. If I write a private entry, I’ll copy/paste it into an email and send it, just so they’re aware, even if I can’t bring myself to approach them.
    The steps may not be direct as to be honest, it just feels downright uncomfortable to ask or admit outright when all your senses are screaming
    ‘Don’t be such a burden!’
    (yay for twisted logic)
    But at least if you attempt to make indirect indications, then it’s a step forward 🙂

    You may even find once you get past the initial barrier, your thoughts and words will spill like a floodgate being opened. It’ll feel refreshing and free…
    And then you’ll apologise to your friends afterwards for rambling for ages and will feel selfish *laughs*
    But at least you didn’t bottle it in. 🙂

    Wishing you all the best with that, it’s a struggle but one worth fighting for your general well being.

    (and yeah, I stumbled here recently via Sugasm, newbie here *waves* will be lurking now) :p

    Like

  2. Wow, thank you for your kind and helpful words. I'm making an effort to give a voice to my internal struggles. Getting past that first inclination to minimize my issues is very difficult.

    Thank you so much for commenting 🙂

    Like

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