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It’s Okay to Feel Helpless

I’ve spent my entire life being independent.  My mom stopped checking my homework by fourth grade, I could make myself a makeshift dinner without any assistance, and I’m always on top of my to-do list.  I don’t need anyone’s help doing anything, unless I am really struggling and timidly ask for it.  But I like being independent, and that is the way I’ve always wanted it to be.

I don’t like relying on people or asking help from other people because it makes me feel like a failure or that I have failed myself or other people.  I like to take on many challenges and fill up my schedule completely because there is no greater feeling for me than completing something by myself and reveling in the feelings of success and high self-esteem.  I’m not one of those girls that needs support from others in the simple day-to-day tasks; I’m the strong, independent woman who will take charge of a crowd and lead them straight to victory.  And if somebody doesn’t want to cooperate or do their share, I have no problem doing it by myself; because that’s the way I was raised: I can do anything and everything I set my mind to.  Nobody else is going to make my dreams come true; I am.

Very recently, I have learned that it is okay to be able to seek support from others in times of inner turmoil or struggle.  My desire for myself to operate on independence frequently clashes with my receiving help from others, and once again, the feelings of failure and disappointment cross my mind repeatedly.  While juggling many activities, daily occurrences, and obligations, I began to feel like I was taking on more than I could handle.  But my personality said, “No, you can’t give up.  You will do it all, and you will do it all yourself.  Imagine the finish line.  Imagine your moment of glory.  It’s all within reach.  You just have to keep pushing to make it happen.”  

And so, I did.  I did exactly what my inner self was telling me to do.  I pushed to the point of bodily crisis.  I vividly remember that my vision was getting blurry, and I couldn’t see out of my contacts.  The next thing I realized was that I couldn’t hear.  I couldn’t hear anything that was going on around me, and I started to panic.  I told my brain to open my mouth to signal help, but my mouth wouldn’t open.  That’s when it happened.  I lost consciousness and blacked out in public in front of everyone.  My true fears were realized; they saw my weakness, and I was shaking with failure. 

The next thing I remember, I was brought out of the situation.  People were flocking around me, voicing their well wishes and concern for my well-being.  I was shocked then, and to this day, I am still shocked.  I feel that my body failed me, and my brain is shaken at the fact that maybe I am not entirely invincible as I once thought. 

With support from my family and friends, I was able to fully recover in mind and body.  I no longer try to take on more than I can handle.  Failure is inevitable in life, and we must welcome it to learn from it.  I am slowly but surely learning that it’s okay to feel helpless; those feelings aren’t going to last forever.

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