Knowing when it’s time to reach back out for help

The last two years have been the toughest and strangest of my adult life.  The peaks, valleys, range of emotions and how it’s changed me is not something I ever expected to experience in my life.  One of the important lessons it’s taught me that it’s ok to be vulnerable and ask for help.  Two years ago I recognized that we had been dealt a huge blow and that I couldn’t get through with my piece of our situation on my own.  I recognized I needed therapy to help better understand the situation and work through the feelings I was going through.

Two years later not much has changed in terms of my situation with K and the question of whether or not we’ll attempt to become parents.  However, at some point in the near future we are going to make a transition to something new.  Recognizing how significant that change is going to be and the fallout that will come with it I have decided to go back to therapy.  It has been something I have been debating over for the last two months ever since the decision was made that we would not pursue adoption.

Admitting that I needed to go back to therapy was not an easy decision.  I hate having to ask anyone for help.  The idea that I can do things on my own and accomplish great things are something I take pride in.  Feeling vulnerable and exposed to the point where I have to ask for help makes me feel weak.  It makes me feel that I can’t do things on my own.  I recognize that flaw in myself and it’s something that I have worked on the last two years that it’s ok to ask for help.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength.  I understand that as a person I have limitations and that while I can challenge myself I can’t do it all.  There are certain challenges I will face where I will need to seek the help of others.  That’s ok too as tough as it is to accept.

I’m not going into therapy expecting to find all of the right answers.  I will be looking to therapy to help me work through the upcoming transition whatever that is.  No matter what the transition is to in my life the issues that I have from the fallout with infertility will need to be worked through.  I am confident that no matter what the transition is to that I will be able to figure it out and be ok.  I know that I am ready to move forward into the unknown and take on the challenges that come with it.  I don’t expect it to be an easy transition in my life but I hope that therapy will be that help along the way.

22 thoughts on “Knowing when it’s time to reach back out for help

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      I don’t think there is a right or wrong time to ever start counseling. I think it’s one of those things when you know when it’s time.

  1. clwalchevill

    I just have one word: Bravo!! Seriously.

    I’ve long advocated for mandatory therapy for anyone following a diagnosis of infertility. The clinics should be requiring it. Because what we’re encountering is life changing. And like anything where one’s world is turned upside down, having help to sort out not only what happened but to also pick up the pieces so you can create a new path is very important.

    You should be proud that you recognize you’ll need support for what is coming. That is the very definition of strength.

    1. the misfit

      Brilliant – truly. Yes, it should be MANDATORY. If I could say, “Of course I’ve been in therapy. I did years of fertility treatment, and it’s mandatory for all patients, because it’s so stressful” – just thinking those words is like a brilliant ray of sunshine on my life. Not having to apologize for being broken. Not having to convince people that it really is hard, and succeeding only in convincing them that it was hard for me personally. It sounds petty and foolish, but that being mandatory would be a validation of my experience, my existence, in a way that nothing else has been. As it is, we all need support, and first, we have to go out and do battle to have that even acknowledged. From a position in which we are hardly fit to do battle. Please, someone make this happen.

  2. Mali

    I 100% agree that learning to be vulnerable, and asking for help, is one of the hardest things to do, and it takes a lot of bravery. Talking about it is even harder, so I join the others here to support you in this, to wish you well, and to let you know that you have others walking alongside you as you navigate this. We may not be going through the same things – but you have us there with you.

  3. A.

    Therapy has saved me in a lot of ways. I probably should have gone sooner. I think it’s great that you’re able to recognize the need!

  4. A

    Ha! So weird, I just went back last month! Same thing, experiencing a transition, but if and when it to start, but recognizing when things got over whelming was the biggest thing for me. I don’t have to go back as often as I did before, but it great to have a safe space to be able to have someone from the outside looking in that can really help bring your true feelings into focus and to help shake off the bad.
    Best of luck!

  5. the misfit

    So much respect for you. What kind of person does it take to recognize that something WILL BE difficult, that help WILL BE necessary, and that it would be a good idea to take on burdens and sufferings with extra resources to do them maximally well? A wise and mature person, that’s what. My blueprint has been – be in denial about the difficulty of what I’m going through; further denial about the effect it is having on me; wait until grossly negative patterns are deeply ingrained; further denial when they start to affect more and more parts of my life outside the infertility (or other) issues themselves; eventual grudging acknowledgment of the problem but refusal to put in ENOUGH energy to get help; final emotional upheaval and total desperation; ultimately seek help to root out and resolve problems that have taken years to form. Or I could have done it the way you’re doing it, like an adult, but first, I would have had to have a brain transplant.


  6. thecommonostrich

    Therapy is the best. I’m a huge fan, but I completely understand how hard it is to admit you need it– and then be open to the process.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this over the last few weeks. You are not alone in thinking that asking for help and being vulnerable is something to be ashamed of. Of course, it isn’t– and I think it’s probably the only way we as humans live full lives. If you haven’t already, check out Brene Brown. Her work on shame and vulnerability will blow your mind.

  7. TheStorkWhisperer

    Like you, I absolutely hate asking for help and will go above and beyond not to. I always feel like I’m inconveniencing someone. Asking for it is the hardest thing but please give yourself credit for taking this enormous step.

  8. Geochick (@geochick_1)

    I agree, it’s hard to ask for help and to really take a hard look at a situation. I’ve found in therapy that many things I don’t want to face come to the forefront and then have to be worked through. It’s messy, and it’s hard, but in the end, worth it. I second checking out Brene Brown and her books.


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