© 2020 Erin Schrode. About Erin. Contact.

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Asking for Help

January 6, 2020

I'm unafraid to ask for help. Because I need it. Yet I am not helpless. Such is a delicate line to walk, neither forcing oneself to be stoic, nor giving into weakness. Needing and asking for help in countless areas — medically, physically, mentally, emotionally, professionally, just general life —  in such massive ways over extended periods of time is unfamiliar territory that leaves me feeling uncomfortable, burdensome and vulnerable. This is why I so appreciate when people reach out with specific ideas of how they can help me, what they can offer, where they can contribute with expertise, useful connections or otherwise to meet needs they know of or perceive. I have long allotted value and correlated success with my ability to act independently and give of myself to others — but since the accident, in an unexpected time of great need, I am reminded of natural, fundamental cycles of human dependence. When we are truly helpless infants or frail elders, we have no choice but to let caretakers and community do for us in order to meet our most basic survival needs. Over the past four months and present-day, there have been numerous moments where I have felt like a young child because of my inability to do for myself and unquestionable degree of need. Even strong, successful (which I simply define as making it through each day!) adults have major and minor needs, with which one should not be afraid to ask for support. I am learning to articulate what I seek at any given time, which is an entirely new experience. Right now, the only solid answers I seem to have are love, notes and presence… and perhaps organic vegan glutenfree mushy foods, if you happen to be nearby. Life is complicated and while we develop various healthy and unhealthy coping mechanisms or methods to help ourselves, we cannot go it alone. Why should we? Why would we? Requiring assistance has already massively shifted how I view, relate to, interface with and show up for others in countless ways. I am slowly coming to see what it means and the importance of being open to receiving, not only out of imminent necessity, but truly because it will enable me to give more wholly, whether now or throughout better days to come. In my state of heightened need and evermore, I humbly promise: I am and will be here to help, support and stand with YOU too.

Read more of my journey here.