No one’s here and I fall into myself. This truth drives me
Driving home from a long weekend of condo repairs and tenant wrangling, this lyric from an Evanescence song hit me in the gut. HARD.
The truth that drives me, if I’m honest, is that it all rests on my head. If I don’t do it - it will not get done right, on time, or at all. It doesn’t matter what it is. Unfortunately this flawed thinking has been reinforced at work for some time. This weekend was a perfect example. I was in the city where most of my best friends live, friends who love me and welcome me with open arms no matter what and would do anything for me.
I was overwhelmed with the surprise vacancy and all the work I had to do in 48 short hours while showing the condo. So instead of asking for help painting, putting in flooring, hanging blinds, or even the convenience of a bed and shower. I packed a sleeping bag and pillow. Slept in the vacant apartment on the floor for two nights and didn’t ask a soul for help.
My excuses were pretty fantastic “I’ll get started earlier if I wake up there”, “these guys did enough when they helped me move out 6 years ago - it wouldn’t be right to ask for more” or my favorite “it’s easier on the dog if we just stay at one place”. Wow.
So the first step is admitting you have a problem. Fine. I admit it. Lynn called me out on it when she came over to see me, and astonished at the workload I had given myself, picked up a paintbrush..
A few months ago - Mate asked if he could come over. At that moment I was brimming with tears overwhelmed and exhausted by work. I pushed it off, told him I wouldn’t be good company and I planned to get home and get straight to bed after my conference. He wasn’t having it and showed up anyway. That night he took care of me. I let him. We weren’t even dating at the time. It was HUGE for me. Dad called me out on it just a few weeks ago for “taking on” the responsibility of his troubled relationship with my sister.
I’ve got to stop saying “thanks, but…..” or “I can manage”. Worse yet I have to stop thinking it’s all on my shoulders. It’s too much to carry the load alone - especially the stuff that isn’t even mine. I’m not a control freak per se. I don’t really think it’s a martyr thing either. Kat calls it my stupidly independent streak. (She has one too).
I might actually credit Mom for this one. For better or worse she wanted me to be strong and independent. The do-not-ask-for-help rule makes sense in that context, but I KNOW IT IS NOT SERVING ME WELL. I knew it in Europe. Disconnecting for two weeks lessened the load. I get it, I hear it, and in this very poorly written post the point is I’m trying to find a way to stop it. A real way.
This post does not have a teachable moment. It has a request for ideas - for help - for advice on how to break this pattern. This is me, paying attention to the note on my dresser mirror that says it’s ok to ask for help, and actually ASKING.