You all are in for a treat! I love Lizzy, her heart, and her mission. Lizzy and I met on Instagram (@cardio.weights.proteinshakes) and I immediately saw that we would connect. Her and I are both counselors, lovers of fitness, and see the impact that mental and physical health have on each other an dour quality of life. I am so glad to have found her and to feature this awesome lady on my blog today! Enjoy this great and inspiring read.
If there is one lesson that I have had to learn over and over again, it’s this:
It is okay to ask for help.
For an idea that seems so simple, it is one of the most difficult lessons I’ve faced repeatedly. It’s a lesson that so many of us struggle with. Perhaps it’s the fear of being rejected…opening up to someone and realizing that they don’t care. It is difficult for us to readily show how vulnerable we are. Maybe we don’t want to make ourselves look stupid, inexperienced, or inadequate. Or it’s possible that we don’t want to give up our independence, or feel that we are the only ones who could do it the right way. I know, for me, pride often gets in the way. And sometimes, I want someone to notice me. To care enough about me to reach out and throw me a lifeline, without asking. Regardless of the reason, requesting support can be the key that unlocks the door of recovery.
I am in the profession of helping others. I am an advocate; I am an encourager; I am a protector; I am a counselor (literally). Over the past 3 years, I have been held responsible for over 1,500 students. It is my calling to guide, shape, understand, nurture, and empower my students and staff in the workplace; not to mention the friends and family I hold so near and dear in my life. But… what happens when I’m the one in need? When I’m weathering a storm? There’s no right or wrong answer to that question. It was, and still is, a process for me to reach out and admit that something is wrong. There have been times when I have been let down by my loved ones when I reached out to them. These occasions were few and far between; but nevertheless, lesson learned. I knew I couldn’t depend on them in the future; so I saved myself the trouble and heartache of asking for support in the future. I’ve learned who I can depend on… and some of those people have bent over backwards on my behalf.
Think of it this way… If you have one flat tire, would you slash the other three? NO! You do what you need to do to fix the flat tire. And then you get back in the car and drive to your destination. Sometimes, fixing your flat tire means opening up to someone you trust. I’ll give you an example. A story from my own life.
A few years ago, I had to have surgery on my jaw (essentially, they had to break my upper and my lower jaw and reset it). The recovery was slow and painful. I was bedridden for a few weeks. I couldn’t open my mouth; so I couldn’t solid foods. Not only did I lose a lot of weight (and not in a good way), I lost my motivation and my drive to work on my body. I was disenchanted with the muscle I had lost, I didn’t want to go to the gym or exercise at all because my body physically hurt almost all the time. I honestly wanted to give up. I didn’t see the point in trying. This went on for weeks. I’d look in the mirror and see a weak failure, not the strong and confident woman I used to see. I was broken… in a hole and I couldn’t find my way out. Now, for your sake, I’m summarizing the experience. But you get the point… I needed help. I’d like to say that I went to my family and friends immediately. I didn’t. I’d like to say I opened up to really dig deep and find out what the issue was. I didn’t. In fact, I wallowed – and I’ll admit that. But it got to the point where I knew something had to change.
There were times that I almost did it. I would start opening up to my mom or to my friends but I’d chicken out. Until one day, I just did it. I spilled everything to my best friend. I half expected her to just drown me out, or maybe even say she had to go… but she didn’t. She stayed. She listened. And when I was done, she told me that when I was ready that she would help me through it.
I am forever indebted to her for helping me. Sometimes, we don’t need or expect our loved ones to fix our problems. We just want someone to listen. To make us feel like we aren’t alone. I got lucky. My friend helped me make a plan to get back on my feet and then followed through with it. Right by my side.
Have you ever opened up to someone and asked for help?
Inspired by Lizzy’s courage and story? If you are ready to finally ask for help, click here to schedule a free online 20 minute consultation with Jillian today.