I recently joined a group on facebook. The group is a place where people with PCS (Post-Commotio Syndrome) can share experiences and help each other at whatever stage they are in the illness. PCS is the long-term illness you can end up with after a concussion – the limitations I deal with daily and which have shaped my life for the past 3 years. A small debate in the group inspired me to post my opinion about reaching out for help and thereby encourage you to do it more.
Living with PCS can mean a lot of different things, but for many people it means that it is harder to deal with big social events and that we get tired VERY easily. How much this affects the social life depends where this person is in his or her illness. Some may be able to withstand a whole day with music and people around, others may only be able to sit with one other person for 30 minutes and talk.
However, this woman commented on a post that this weekend it was her oldest child’s birthday. She had planned for a family birthday with 14 people one day and a birthday party for the child’s classmates the day after. She mentioned that she didn’t want to let her limitations affect her child’s birthday, so she would push her limits and arrange all this for him even though she knew that it would make her feel awful for days after.
Reading that made me think about how many people think that asking for help is embarrassing. Or how many people don’t want to trouble others by asking and, hence, stand through hard times on their own. I can’t help to think that this woman should ask others to help her with these awesome birthday parties in order for her to get her rest and be able to be there – for some of the time – for her child. I don’t see any benefit for either her or the child in her pushing herself to throw these huge parties for everyone – cooking, cleaning, being the game-host and this crazy energy-mother that she thinks is the only good way to be a mother.
What she doesn’t realise yet is that her children are incredibly lucky to have a mother who has room for quiet times, peace, rest and love in the present moment. So many other mothers run around and try to entertain their children all the time, but her children will always know that being with their mother means peace and quiet and connection. I think she should leave those awesome birthday parties and all the preparation to someone else, or even a bunch of other people who can handle it wonderfully while she is resting and getting herself ready to just BE in the moment with the family and with the classmates.
I know that I am not here to judge or tell anyone what to do. I just feel that asking for help is a community thing. It is ok. Everyone needs help sometimes. Everyone! I am not always the best practioner of my preaching in this aspect, but I do try. My reaching out has given me so much and I will continue to do it, because I will not be able to live my life alone and I desperately need help sometimes.
At the moment for instance, I need help translating 8 documents from Danish to English. If I have to do it myself, it may take 2-3 weeks, because I need rest so often. If a few other people dip in, it may take only one week. Who knows?
Lifting life alone is just not right in my eyes.
Ask for help. Involve others. Most people would love to help. I am incredibly grateful for all the help I have received through the years. I will do everything I can to give back – and I know that all of you fantastic and awesome people helping me know that. However, I will never stop asking for help. Everything is abundant. Help too.