Ha! News flash, right? Durrr…
I always tell people that it’s essential to ask for help, but sometimes I have a hard time asking for it myself. Good thing some of the people in my life are proactive and reach out to me.
Here’s a prime example: I’m struggling with ObamaCare.
I love love love the idea of it, but the execution has been a total fiasco. My own application is being held up half-way through processing, and it’s been agony to even get that far. And man, is it hard to watch friends zip through the process with no issues! I want them to be successful, but…I’m also a bit jealous.
So the other day I had gone through hours and hours of struggle and I posted a somewhat sad-sack photo to Facebook and Twitter.
And honestly, I just hermitted at home for a few hours after that. Curled up on the couch and numbed my mind with goofy sitcom action. Cried a bunch more. Wished I could talk to someone who was going through the same thing, a friend or family member who would understand.
But I felt so alone.
Nearly all of my friends are either married and get their partner’s benefits, or get insurance through their employer, so they’re not dealing with this process. (Yet.) When I try to explain it to them, I feel like I’m re-living all the stress and frustration all over again! And that gets old. Amirite?
So I was very much feeling sorry for myself, wishing for a solution. And basically, I just called that day a wash and tried to start the next day fresh.
Then a couple days later, my sister called. The one with two kids, one of whom is a baby. The one who just started a new job. You know, the one who is just SLAMMED right now. She called.
“I saw your Facebook post, and was wondering what’s going on. Can you talk about it now?” she asked.
A flood of tears. A long explanation. A sense of relief.
She heard me out, and sympathized. That’s all I needed: Someone who knows me, who understands me, who knows how hard I’ve fought to be well in spite of so many obstacles. She really understood. And I felt so supported and loved in that moment.
Since then, every time I’m on the phone with HealthCare.gov support, I remember my sister being supportive and awesome and it makes the process a little easier. It’s crazy how much a 15-minute conversation can make a difference!
I texted her the day after she called, thanking her and telling her how much it means to have her support. “I would want the same,” she replied. And she would get it. Because that’s just how I roll.
So, lesson learned:
Ask for help. Sometimes, folks like my sister, or other close friends, will step up when they see you struggling. But don’t wait for it. Don’t suffer alone needlessly. Ask for help. Because it makes a big, huge, whopping difference.