There are few things in life I hate more than asking for help. It’s just not in my nature. I’m not talking about help for a chore or a project, those are things I can live with. But asking for help in terms of emotional support – that’s hard for me.

I don’t like to be seen to be vulnerable, or ‘weak’. I always feel like when you’re vulnerable that’s when people take advantage of you, and I don’t like to not feel in control.

As I get older I’m starting to realise that emotional support and strength is important for your self-development and that we all need a network of support we can call on when in need. This network should be made up of people who you trust, people you know love you no matter what. That way you’re not afraid to feel vulnerable in front of them – knowing they won’t judge you if you fall apart.

This last week has been an emotional roller-coaster for me, and I’ve found it quite difficult to deal with all these emotions – there hasn’t been enough neat little boxes to put them into. I’d also asked my sister to come and help me move back to Zambia, when she said she didn’t think she could it really hit me hard.

Today as I thought about why it was so important for my sister to be here, I realised it was because I needed her. We’ve grown apart in the last 10 years or so, but she’d always been my best friend – we shared everything, our lives had been so intertwined. But more recently it was more her life I knew about and she knew next to nothing about mine.

Have her come and be here with me wasn’t so much so she can help me pack (who am I kidding, I’m hiring packers – no packing up for me!), but more about having her share the of this chapter of my life, so that she could experience a part of it, even if it was just the last part of it. I also hoped that it would be an opportunity for us to bond again, see if we can get back to being best friends. And even if we can’t, maybe we could just bond, I do miss my sister-friend.

My therapist asked me why I don’t tell her this, rather than keeping the hurt and disappointment in me – but that emotional conversation is not easy for me, not easy for me to tell someone that I need them. He said it would be a great learning opportunity for me to do something different as I try and move my life in a new direction. I was psyched about the opportunity. Couldn’t wait to get home and call her.

I did call her, but didn’t tell her how much I needed her or how much I missed her. Instead I gave in and agreed to stay in London 10 days longer, so that she can do what she needs to do in Zambia and then come to London for 11 days. I can’t say that I’m thrilled but at least she’ll be here right?

So I might have missed out on that opportunity to open up, but I think I’m going to start doing it with my inner circle. I have more to gain than to lose by doing it. And let’s be honest, no man is an island, sooner or later I will really need someone and it’s nice to know that that circle of support exists and that I can tap into it.

I also know that I’m blessed to have the family (including my non-blood family of my close friends) that I have, so I need to start letting them into my life a little bit more, and actually respect the bonds for what they are. Our relationships are what we make them, and to develop we need to start strengthening those bonds – our emotional beings require them.

Advertisements