I’ve Forgotten How

I am the type of person that loves helping people.  It makes me who I am.  If I can do ANYTHING to help someone, or make their life a little easier, or just give them a smile, I will do it.  My career goals are even focused on my need and want to help others.

However, I seem to have forgotten how to help, how to listen.

Now, that’s not entirely true.  Physically, I am capable of helping a friend with a task, or caring for children, or something of that nature.  I can be a huge help in that sense, but when it comes to helping with emotional things, I am at a loss.  I have been the one asking for help for so long.  I have been the one pushing people away, not only to keep my PPD to myself, but so I wouldn’t have to deal with others problems too.  Four and a half years I have been doing that.  Now I am lost.

My husband has presented me with a chance to help him.  He’s not feeling too hot about himself, and I understand why.  The problem is, I don’t know how to help him.  I don’t know how to make him feel better.  I don’t know how to help him, and cope with my own anxiety.

I am not trying to make his problem about me, though it may seem that way.  I just honestly do not know how to help someone emotionally, while helping myself at the same time.  His sadness, and defeated attitude makes me anxious.  I am still learning how to deal with my own anxiety, and trying to help and cope with someone elses emotions is difficult.

This isn’t something new.  The last few years, I have been this way.  Someone comes to me with a problem, in need of a shoulder.  I want to give it to them, you have no idea how badly I want to, and I try.  I get anxious though.  My anxiety takes over my brain, and I have a hard time focusing on the task at hand.  I feel like whatever I say to the person from that point forward is meaningless, because my brain is not functioning properly enough to give sound advice.

This time it’s different.  It’s my husband who I want to help.  He has always been there for me, especially when I needed him the most.  He is my rock, and knows how to make me smile, even when I was in the darkness.  How can I possibly not know how to be there for him, when he did it so many times for me?  How can I not know how to be there for anyone, when that is who I am supposed to be?

It kind of makes me question myself.  I wonder if I am still that caring, helping person, or self-absorbed, and in my own little world?  This entry has me believing self-absorbed.  That makes me sad.

That’s not who I used to be, and that’s not who I want to be.  I just don’t know how to help anymore, not with emotional things anyway.  Maybe it’s like riding a bike, eventually I will catch on again.  Right now it’s just hard.  I want and need to be there for him, and for anyone that comes to me.  That’s the whole point of this blog!  I just feel like a fraud.

Pity party for one!

I will figure it out again, I hope.  I just feel helpless, and that is kind of a weird feeling for someone who has always felt helpful.  It’s kind of a vulnerable, anxiety filled place.  I will get over it.  I have to.  My husband needs me.  People need me.  I need to learn how to be me again.

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8 thoughts on “I’ve Forgotten How

  1. I hear you. Since struggling with depression myself, I have found myself having a harder time truly being there for other people because I have been worried about keeping myself happy. There is light though. There came a time, not to long ago, that I realized that when I put my faith and trust in the Lord and go ahead and help others, even when it feels like I am walking off a cliff in a way, the Lord bears me up and allows me to walk across to the other side of the canyon without falling. He is the one who makes it possible to help. When I build my foundation on Him and put my faith and trust in Him, all things are possible and the crashing waves of the world and the devil have no power over me as it says in this scripture in Helaman 5:12:

    “And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which yea are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”

    I know that the Lord will help you, because He has helped me. He may not take the problem or the condition away, but He will give you the strength to endure and to continue through the hard times as you lean on him.

  2. Yes I so understand this. It is so hard to be emotionally available to someone to help them when you’re in the midst of emotional pain yourself.
    Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words to help someone, but the best thing you can do is offer an ear and let them know that you’re right behind them. Offering them love and hope goes a long way.
    PS. We all can’t be like Dr.Phil…although I’d love his pay check 😉

  3. i’m sure your husband doesn’t feel like you are not supporting him, with ppd it seems like we obsess over things until it seems like they are true, so, we feel like we are bad moms, or not supportive enough of our spouses, or whatever. and remember, this is YOUR blog, so you are not being selfish by talking about your feelings, many of us use blogging as a way to work through whatever we might be dealing with, so talking about yourself is OKAY!!!

  4. Trust me when I say, Judgement is useless. If you are in a battle for your own emotional well being, than you can only be as strong for someone else as you can be. The best way to be there for someone isn’t fixing their problems, just listening to someone is a huge thing. As far as advice, or guidance that you might give him, you don’t have to come up with the answers, even making suggestions to him such as getting some counseling, or perhaps go with him to a book store and do some research on the subject. Find him some books that might give him some insight, or at least make him not feel so alone in it. I repeat, it’s not your job to make him happy, or supply the answers to his questions. Being there for someone can be getting online with him to research others with his issue, holding his hand, or like I say just listening, holding him, and caring.

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