For those that know me personally, I don’t ask others for help. That’s not something I typically do and especially, in my profession as a Licensed Professional Counselor. I’m very independent and resourceful in my daily life. I will figure out and research things endlessly just to avoid having to ask anyone for help. Is it pride? Is it fear? Is it a trauma response? Whatever the case maybe, the ONE thing I know for sure is that certainly was not the case 12 years ago!
Help first started with my medical oncology team when I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer at 27 years old in 2010. I remember the Breast Care Advocate at the hospital held my hand as I underwent my first set of biopsies, as I was beyond scared. Help also came in the form of my family, friends, even my two-year old daughter at the time would pray for me and of course, my pets were always a great emotional support.
I was so grateful for having so many affiliations and even more from my former workplaces, churches, universities, mom groups, colleagues, and former classmates ranging from elementary school to college! I will also not fail to mention, Chix 4 a Cause also came through to help me and my family with beautiful gifts, gift cards, and helped fix the family car when it broke down. West Bend Mutual Insurance also raised money for my family and also sponsored my family for Christmas. I learned that my daughter at the time, was the youngest child impacted by cancer in Washington County.
I also had other non-profits locally and nationally to supply weekly pen pals/cards, care packages sent to my home on chemo days, and an endless amount of gift cards for groceries and other necessities for me and my family. In the darkest days of my life, asking for HELP truly meant I was strong and vulnerable. I knew my limits and knew when to self-advocate to support me and my family in such a crucial time.
I also learned to appreciate my loved ones in my life and all the gifts they offered me when I needed it the most. Here’s a quick GLAD Technique (appreciation exercise) it can possibly benefit you when facing a challenge in life, as there’s always something to be thankful for. I’ll share what I appreciated from that time in my life.
G (grateful)- the caring support of loved ones and those in the community
L (learned)-being vulnerable in asking for help is quite brave and strong
A (accomplished)-self-care modalities emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually
D (delight)-in spending lots of mother and daughter time as I was unable to work my jobs
Angelina, two years old in 2010. She excitedly said, “My dreams came true, Mommy.” After a loved one sent a care package gift to our home.