At the beginning of the year I picked one word to focus on instead of a resolution.
I decided to ask for help. Even though I hate it and even though asking for it makes me feel weak and vulnerable I decided on help anyway.
Because I was retreating within myself. Slowly but surely I was withdrawing from life and friendships.
Nothing felt safe anymore and I lacked the ability to pull myself out of the hole I was in.
I was ashamed and afraid that asking for help would only give others a platform to reassure me that I in fact meant nothing to them at all.
But I started. I asked friends for help finding a therapist and then I made an appointment and actually went TO the appointment. At first I fought against the validation she gave me when she named the sharp words still sticking like shards out of my heart, but then I realized it was true.
I joined a connecting group at church for the first time in the almost 6 years I've been there. I've found new friendships developing and have observed with wonderment how many nuances there are to forming adult female relationships.
I've shared more of my story in a serious (non-sarcastic) manner with people and have heard them whisper, "me too". I've asked for help by talking about my relational fears and inabilities and asking others what can be done...and then asking them to come alongside me as we do life together.
I'm still not sure where I'm at with relationships in general. I'm still an overly suspicious person and seem to wonder always at the subtext of conversations. But I'm talking about it. I'm asking for help and I'm hearing people I wouldn't have expected step up and say they'll work through it with me.
I'm also hearing from God. I'm hearing him answer my whispers asking for help in the darkest corners of my mind and heart. I hear him steadily and consistently telling me he's still there helping me even when I can't see it through all the tears.
I hear him tell me there is a better way to have relationships (friendship or otherwise) then to give it away in exchange for scraps of affection.
For one of the first time.....I believe him.
I'm enthralled with seeing how the next half of this year of Help will go. I feel so radically different than I did at the beginning of the year, so much more hopeful and grounded then I can remember feeling...ever really.
Thanks for going first, Alece. It helped me be brave and to ask for help when it was the last thing I wanted to do, but the first thing I needed to do.
(also, if you're not reading Alece's blog then you're just missing out on a great read and a wonderful woman who is pursuing the life God is calling her to lead with all it's grit and glory)