Unlisted: Strength in Others

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Many self-help mantras tell us to draw strength within ourselves before soliciting strength from others. When we look within, we do not seek outside validation and feel secure with ourselves. We know we are enough.

But, we cannot always draw strength alone. Our emotional wells run dry, we hit walls, and we get discouraged. No person is an island.

As tempting as it might be to go it alone, we need others to help us through our moments of insecurity. Friends and family lift us when we need to refill our emotional well. 

The internet makes it easier to go the “lone wolf” route, but it isn’t always the healthiest. While you can interact with others behind a screen, you don’t get the same fulfillment as in-person interactions. Spending most of your time online allows you to avoid asking for help or building up your offline support system.

I am not shaming online usage; it does have a place. I am speaking to moderation and not allowing it to completely replace offline social interactions.

It is essential to balance your online activity and use in-person engagements to draw strength from others when you need help.

Getting Help

Help takes different shapes and sizes. While we might think of support as lending a hand or helping with an errand, it can be more subtle than that. It might be spending time with someone and listening to them. For myself, spending time with Ash and not doing anything helps re-fill my emotional well. Just being beside him on the couch, without interacting, can build our connection with each other. 

It’s taken me years to feel comfortable with asking him for that sort of help. He has FMLA, which is there for the moments I need aid. I try to ask him as infrequently as possible to save time for an emergency, but there are days where my flare-ups take an emotional turn. I need him to stay home not because I am stuck in bed, but because I cannot emotionally cope with the day. When I have Ash close by and help with Jai, it supports me long enough to regroup.

Recognize that help can take many different forms. You know what you need and what you need from others. Do not be afraid to ask for a friend to spend time with you if all you need is the company. They may not feel like they are helping out, but the truth is, they might be making all the difference.

Healing the Wounds

Have you broken a bone, or know someone who broke a bone? You know the advice: when the bone knits together, it sets stronger than before. For that to happen, you must spend time in a cast to give the bone a heal.

Wounds can be emotional, and as a break, sometimes it takes rest to help them heal. Getting a chronic illness diagnosis is a wound. Dealing with a significant setback is a wound. Your support system acts as a cast and can give you the needed rest to help heal.

Remember, they told you they want to help, so take them at their word and allow them to help you heal.

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