Too Much Pride: Learning to Accept Help

Over the weekend during a lively discussion, a sweet-soul of a gentleman said to a mutual friend, "Allow me to help you." Our friend quickly rebuffed the suggestion he would ever allow others to assist him in anyway. Funny thing is, this self-reliant friend would be the first to insist his assistance to anyone in need. He just couldn't receive it, and claimed his upbringing was the cause-- too much pride. I'm sure you are familiar with this point of view, we all have known people too prideful to accept assistance, even if it comes from a trusted ally, while they are in desperate need. This could even be you.


I admit, I have been guilty of this as well. I understand the desire to manage difficulties yourself, to keep your problems your own. However, we must consider what is at stake.Will accepting help only affect you? You may be self reliant, but do others rely on you? You would be surprised who is watching and learning from the steps you take. Therefore, please consider each step you take, and don't take, wisely. Yes, it is good to manage your responsibilities yourself, and it is equally important to know you are not alone. Those who love you are there to help, and professional help is available too; something to consider when confidentiality concerns prevent you from getting the help you need.


I accepted help from professionals and loved ones years ago while struggling with alcoholism. I was accustomed managing life on my own, and was proud of my ability to live on my own terms. But after years of fun-loving clubs and parties, my drinking became problematic. My life was sinking into depression, and without a shift in my willingness to accept help, my daily life would have spiraled out of control. I needed help for myself first, yes this is true, but I also needed to accept help because I was connected to others. You see, we all inspire each other. We serve as examples to each other; someone is watching you too. We can demonstrate not only our ability to succeed, but that accepting help during difficult times is no cause for shame, but a needed element of survival for all of us.


Since my sobriety began in 2011, I have had repeated conversations by those who were watching me then, telling me how witnessing my experience showed them, seeking help was something they needed too. Since I accepted the help of a therapist, an outpatient program, emotional support from friends, family, and my little dog Ashee, my life experiences reflect my dreams. Also, my physical and mental health is greatly improved. I've seen others benefit from help in ways that changed their lives more than they dared to hope. They now have light for others to follow, not a shadow of shame to deny. So I hope you will accept help if you ever need it, from friend or professional; whether mental, emotional, physical or financial. Your choice could inspire those watching you to seek help too.

aa.org ; alliancehealthproject.ucsf.edu ; ASPCA.org ; golden1.com ; ohlhoff.org

Me and my dog Ashee in 2012


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