Updated: Jun 14
As a divorce coach I am blessed to learn from my clients every day – men and women struggling with one of the most difficult transitions in life but who are bravely showing up, asking the hard questions and reminding all of us that it’s courageous to build a support team. When you are brave and vulnerable enough to invite someone else to see you struggle, you make it ok for them to struggle, too. As author Cheryl Strayed says, “Bravery is acknowledging your fear and doing it anyway.”
Here are a few suggestions to consider when you ask for help.
Make your call to someone who has your back 100%. Choose them because you trust that you’ll have a safe place to share whatever you need.
You are not on anyone else’s timetable. You can make let people know what’s going on when it works for you – not them.
If it’s too overwhelming to think about sharing with friends and family, have someone do it for you. Your trusted person can contact family members or friends with whatever message you want to share.
When you do speak with people, let them know what you need. You might say, “I’m telling you this but I’m not ready to hear anything other than you love me and support me. When I need advice on next steps I’ll let you know. In the meantime, please just let me cry/yell/etc.”
Don’t take the calls you aren’t ready to take. The people who matter will be there when you’re up to it.
Let people bring you dinner, pick-up the kids or whatever it is you need. If you’re not up for personal interaction, have them leave things at the door, or drop kids without coming in. Chances are they will be happy to help and will understand your desire to stay out of sight for a bit.
And potentially the most important thing you can do – recognize that every situation is unique, and you are entitled to handle yours in the way that feels right to you. Be kind to yourself and open to possibility. The reality is that any one of us may not respond to a crisis in the way we hope or anticipate. It’s ok. Let your expectations go and deal with the moment the best you can.