Last Updated on May 25, 2022 by ThoughtsStained
Hello, loves! So, today, I took a leap and did something I’ve had plans to do for a bit, but haven’t been brave enough to do. I set up a GoFundMe for my partner, to attempt to raise money to help get him a new computer. He’s a streamer, but something he’s always struggled with is asking for help. And he’s not alone in that, because it’s something I struggle with, too, especially when it comes to money. In fact, the amount of mental gymnastics (that translated to actually sweating heavily all day as I created the fundraiser) proves how difficult it is.
But why is asking for help so hard?
So, this post is directly inspired by all of the emotions I’m feeling right now, after setting up that GoFundMe. They might not be what you expect. But, in the (two-ish) hours since I made it, I’ve felt: fear, guilt, shame, hope and overwhelming gratitude. A very mixed combo of emotions, I’d say. For reasons like:
- Fear that: my partner will be upset I asked for help; no one would want to help; that even asking for help is not okay; or I’m bothering others for asking and promoting this suddenly on social media and text
- Guilt for: needing help in the first place; that we can’t afford this on our own; for asking others to donate their own money; asking for a want that is not a need
- Shame: ironically, this is preemptive shame; shame that, if no one donates and we don’t reach our goal, did I go through all of this emotional mess “for nothing”
Yet, the last emotion has already been proven wrong, since we have received donations (!!). I have been utterly, completely floored by this and incredibly touched. Absolutely and utterly. You know when a writer says that words are not enough, they mean it and are completely overwhelmed. That is me, right now, every time a donation comes in.
Despite this, I’m still left wondering: why am I so terrified to ask for help?
Asking for Help
Part of me thinks–no, knows–it’s tied with the monetary aspect. I’ve always had a complicated relationship with money. In a current climate where so many are struggling, asking for donations is hard. And I know money is a huge factor of where this fear and guilt come from, because any time I promote anything that is tied to money (like my Patreon or editorial services), I feel that same feelings. I’d hoped, that when it came on behalf of someone I love, it wouldn’t elicit the same feelings, yet here we are, I guess. 😅
Yet, I also wonder if there are is some societal aspect to it? Like, we’re taught that we’re not allowed to ask for help. That it’s seen as weak, wrong or improper. Which is just such a toxic mindset to be in or subscribe to, even unconsciously. Yet, I needed some help getting some old boxes out of my garage, yet couldn’t bring myself to ask anyone to help for months, because it required someone else’s time. Like, the idea of inconveniencing someone else (even those who I *knew* wouldn’t mind, like my Dad) was so impossible for me, that I just lived with my cluttered garage. For months! Instead of finally breaking down and asking me Dad to come over to dinner and then use his truck to take the boxes. Which he did and it took him less than five minutes to do. 🙄
I wish I could narrow down the exact reasons why asking for help is so hard. Mostly so I could address them someone and stop feeling so much guilt and angst.
So, we’ve established that asking for help is not easy for me.
Yet, despite all of the reasons why it’s hard, I still decided asking for help was worth it this morning, finally. Why? Because the world is trash right now. The world is trash and people can be cruel and life can be relentless and uncaring.
Yet they can also be kind and supportive and giving. My partner is one of the kindest people I know. And during a time where it’s so easy to fall into depressive spirals, streaming makes him happy. If we can make it easier for him to find this happiness by upgrading his tech, which requires me overcoming discomfort, fear, guilt and shame that comes with asking for help?
That is such a small price to pay, for the chance–even the chance–to support him, even if I can’t do it alone.
This was just a quick post to help me process, a bit. Process the emotions I have been feeling all morning (and the tears). I hope it also can serve also almost as a permission post? If you need help–whether it’s financial, mental, emotional, physical or otherwise–it is okay to ask for it. You don’t have to do it alone, no matter what society (or your own brain) says. It does not make you lesser. In fact, every time you ask for help, for yourself or others, I applaud you for it.
So, let’s try and break that stigma that asking for help isn’t okay. For ourselves, our loved ones and our communities. The world is fucking brutal right now and there is a lot to fight against–and for. We’ll need each other as we do it and being able to ask for help is an important step.
Take care of yourselves, friends.