This is me with my best mate Amy. She has been on this shitstorm of a journey with me from the beginning. She’s spent countless hours talking to me on the phone at all hours of the day whether I was at home or in hospital, listening to me cry, checking up on me and taking care of me.
My hat’s off to her. But it’s not easy for me to ask or accept help. I’m a really independent person by default. You have to be if you want move abroad on your own. My first experience of living alone was in a foreign country. My family is extremely supportive but they’re not, you know, there. I’ve always been independent, something they encouraged but I literally got thrown off at the deep end aged nineteen.
Someone took a hold of me by the back of the neck and arse, threw me into the water and yelled ‘swim bitch, swim.’
I get things sorted. You can say a lot of things about me but nobody can claim that I don’t get shit done. No matter how unwell I’ve been, my work has always been completed, my bills have been paid. I swam against the current as long as I could. From that it’s incredibly hard to find yourself having to ask for help, especially from people outside your family. Well, my family isn’t in the same country as me, so I rely on my friends more than most people.
Bitch too bad because when I was hospitalised after my suicide attempt I found out I unsurprisingly wasn’t allowed to go out to pay my council tax. So I called a mate and she was an absolute gem about it throughout.
A year later the same mate had to physically stop me from carrying the heaviest items myself in a supermarket straight after I got home from hospital with pneumonia. So you know, it’s a learning process.
I know why it’s so hard. Asking for help leaves you vulnerable. I know that’s not how friendship works but I don’t want to be indebted to anyone either. Of course this only works one way around. My friends can ask me for anything and I’ll do it without expectations because that’s what friends do. I’m highly aware of my own hypocrisy.
I think it’s a coping mechanism, which once again leads to my ex-boyfriend. I couldn’t rely on him for anything. If I asked him to walk me somewhere at dark, he’d ask why and refuse to do it. It’s humiliating to ask for something only to be constantly turned down, whilst treated that whatever you’re asking for is completely outrageous. It’s easier not to expect anything. At least you don’t get disappointed.
I know my friends are not like that. Mainly because they’re not cunts. But like many upsetting things, they tend to stick pretty well at the back of your head.
During my latest tour of local hospitals it was always me who called the NHS direct. I was the one who waited for hours on end on the phone or the A&E and answered the same questions over and over again. It’s me who sorts out my food, bed and boarding no matter how shit I happen to feel. Because who else would?
I have to admit, sitting on an orange plastic bench with a cardigan bundled as a pillow behind my head, I would’ve given anything to have someone just to hold my hand.
That’s why I have such a hard time with even considering some safeguarding methods. I always dive into everything head first. Straight up the arse, sideways without Vaseline. When someone offers me anything, a glass of water or five minutes or a chance to cancel, I never take it. Yes, let’s do it! No, no, I’m fine, I don’t need anything!
Despite the above I still don’t really know why I do it. Why do I do it? It’s not like it’s always genuine. Of course at times I would’ve preferred to have a friend with me to a doctor’s appointment or take up on an offer of help but I said no anyway.
It’s a matter of pride as well. Because ofc this is the time to get precious about things. But I do take pride in being independent. I want to come out of things with my dignity intact. I completely lost all when I hit the rock bottom and my life was in the hands of others. I turned from an independent person into a patient who at times was treated like an idiot, a child or both.
This is why I don’t get embarrassed easily. Why should I when I’ve already been to the rock bottom?
That’s why I was so grateful to a makeup artist who redid my whole makeup after I had cried most of my foundation off a couple of weeks ago. It wasn’t really about makeup. She allowed me to leave the situation with dignity.
At the end things to be simple if you don’t complicate them on purpose.
Of course I know it’s OK to ask for help. Sometimes it’s necessary. And my friends help me for the same reason I help them, because I love them.
This journey has a little room for pride, it’s hard enough as it is. I’m telling you the same thing I tell myself: Just stop being a tit and ask for help.