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How I am learning to ask for help

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Being a person who is not only living with ADHD but also several mental illnesses in a trench coat, I have learned a valuable lesson about doing everything myself. One of those things has been learning to ask for help when I need it. It isn’t as simple as it sounds.

To ask for help you have to first believe that you deserve it and even further you have to realize you’re in need of help at all. So many of us wait until we are drowning in our situation before we can even consider help. ADHD doesn’t wait to show up and neither should we deprive ourselves of the help we need. Here are some places that I sometimes get stuck on asking for help.

I don’t deserve help because I procrastinated

Procrastination is a key symptom of ADHD. I have procrastinated on projects until the last minute for so long that it feels like a normal way to be. I’ve gotten much better over the years, but I’ve never quite managed to escape it totally. Sometimes for me, asking for help to avoid procrastination sometimes looks like asking for someone to help me during the planning phase.

I recently found myself in a jam over getting the launch phase out for my cleaning coaching and I had to put a call in to a friend of mine who is an EXPERT at breaking tasks down. She sat with me while I churned out a list of tasks and got them taken care of.

I’m so frustrated I can’t articulate my needs

Over the summer I was sicker than I have been in a long time, and I had to reach out to my network. I needed people to sit with me while I worked on getting my house back in order. The focus had to be on regaining my health. On restarting my business without a core group of audience that I worked with for many years (hi Twitter peeps, I miss you and you can find me there as @BGLKinfo).

I had to figure out how to articulate that need, and it is difficult to ask for what you need when you’re not sure what you need in the moment. Thankfully I had a huge friend group who saw my need and showed up. They helped me when my heart was broken and helped me get refocused on what matter.

Believing nobody will come when I ask

This one was a big one. Everyone is busy with their lives, and this is a time of frustration for many of us. I assumed that everyone was so busy that the best thing to do was solve my problems on my own. Incorrectly, I thought talking it out was the most that I could expect from people. WRONG! People showed up and helped me in tangible ways.

I honestly was amazed. Folks shared posts, helped me edit, sat with me in Zoom rooms so I could cowork with them and more. If I could be this wrong about who would help, could you be too?

I’m not happy to have been so ill, but I am grateful to finally realize that asking for help doesn’t have to be a last resort. I hope we’re all better able to tap in to our resources and reach for the help that we all need.

Until next time,

René