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What is The Reward For “Going It Alone” Besides Loneliness? | FNBB 77
It’s funny. I’m sitting here getting ready to write this blogpost and the Michael Jackson song “You Are Not Alone” is playing through my earbuds. As I was thinking about what to write about this week, several things pointed me in this direction; A friend that didn’t want to be a burden, reading a book that pondered “The Lone Ranger” syndrome, this week’s The New Old You podcast episode on Preventing Teen Suicide, and Pickle who is still trying to deal with the pain of the loss of his mother who would have had her 79th birthday this week.
I am the first to admit guilt in not asking for the help I need. I routinely attempt to go it alone on many levels. It is truly something that I am working on, but it is hard. Sometimes I am eventually successful, but a majority of the time I don’t succeed at all. You would think that the next time help is required that the remembered lesson would still be there, but I again try to go it alone. Why? There are many, many reasons why people are convinced that alone is better. Here are a few, see if they sound familiar.
These are just six, but I could go and on. People won’t understand, It’ll take too long to explain what I need help with, they’ll expect something in return, etc. etc.
This “going it alone” can take its toll in so many ways. It can lead to loneliness, resentment, frustration, sadness, and overwhelm. There is not a single positive word on that list. Cutting ourselves off from others to face things alone, especially when the stakes are high, is like walking a tightrope without a net. The whole thing is up in the air. Quite literally. And if you happen to make it to the other side safely, without people who might have been there to support you who understand how high the stakes were, who will celebrate with you? Celebrating in a party of ONE is no celebration at all.
Going it alone can be fatal. There are so many who allow themselves to dwell in a dark place and refuse to ask or allow others to pull them up and out of that place. They may be afraid of pulling the other person down with them. Or they may so stuck in this dark place that they are unaware how much they need the strength of other people. And before they know it, they drown in their own despair.
A lot of times we just assume that people know that we need help. Without a word we expect them to ride in on a white horse and save us. But let me tell you, most people are so tied up in their own lives and issues that they don’t automatically notice yours. As Jackie Simmons, the guest on The New Old You this week, said, Our Reticular Activating System is always at work. It is natural to always believe that everyone around us is okay. Unless we are shown or told the contrary, those are the only messages that get through the RAS filter.
It’s not until something has gone terribly array that people get the message that something could be sit up to take notice. It’s up to us to communicate with others if we need something from them – support or otherwise. Getting help or the help you need speeds you to better outcomes. It lessens the time of reaching a goal, achieving a thing, or amount of time being alone and in pain.
So how do you ask for help? You ready for this? Hey X, I’m in a bind – I’m having some trouble – I’m feeling very alone and sad, and I was hoping that you could give me a hand – help me with this thing – sit with me for a while. Just ask. Open that heart of yours, tell your ego to shut up, and ask. Will everyone say yes? Depending on the ask, probably not, but I bet nine times out of ten someone will do their damnedest to try.
Ashton Applewhite once told me, “None of us is independent. We’re interdependent. And it’s always been that way.” I don’t care how alone you feel or how much you think you need to go it alone. You are not alone. I guarantee you have one of the following: a family member, a friend, a teacher, a neighbor, or a cell phone. Start with your circle and if the help you need can’t be found there, pick up your cell phone – find someone that can help you; A therapist, a coach, other people. And as always, you can call on spirit, the universe, God – whatever you want to call it for help.
And by all means, if the help you need is mental health in nature, pick up that cell phone to call a crisis line to give you the help you need.
It is a show of strength to ask for help.
No man is an island. Most of the time is it up to us send up a flare and scream S.O.S. When you do, watch out, people are going to come out of the woodwork. You may even be overwhelmed by the help that is offered. Don’t forget to receive with a grateful heart. And remember, there are, count them, ZERO awards for going it alone.
The FNBB podcast version is here:
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