Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Ask For Help
One lesson I learned while visiting my friend in Arizona was to ask for help when I need it.
I am not used to traveling alone. On this particular day (Thursday before last) I was on a long bus (two whole buses joined together) trying to get off with a very heavy carry-on and another heavy personal bag. I needed both hands though to get down the steps of the bus and to then jump the distance to the curb. I tried various ways to pull both the suitcases and myself down and out and just couldn't do it. There were many people around me, mainly young men, and they watched, which made me feel even worse.
Finally I threw my personal bag out of the bus. It landed right-side-up with everything intact. With a push I let my carry-on tumble out of the bus and onto the curb. I then held onto the rails with both hands and got down the stairs (I have a leg problem that makes it hard for me to go down stairs). I pictured the young people laughing at me for having so much trouble (this was a total figment of my imagination). I jumped from the last step to the curb, which was quite painful. Then I burst into tears as the bus hurried away. I allowed myself to cry for a minute or so, then picked everything up and continued on. The mechanics of traveling had worn me down and I'd needed to just stop and let things go.
When I was telling my therapist about this after the trip, she asked me why I hadn't simply asked for help. I could have asked the bus driver (even though he was far in the front section of the two-section bus) and offered him a tip, or I could have asked any of the many people in the bus. It honestly hadn't occurred to me at all. I of course would help someone in my situation, but who would want to help me? Obviously, people might want to, or would want to, and so my attitude of just assuming they wouldn't told me a great deal about myself here.
Some people want to help. Others don't. That's okay. And it's fine to ask for help when we need it.
In many ways, lately, this late bloomer is just starting to feel like I'm beginning to grow up.