I am rrrrrrrrubbish at maths. Me and numbers, we don’t get along. They push all up in my face and make me itch and CONFUSE me with their fiddly-diddly numbering and multiplications and fancy-shmancy divisionals. Bleargh. Simply, I don’t do maths. Nope. This is why CALCULATORS were born, innit? And occasionally, if I need to do some urgent mathematicals, I just ask. I ask for help. I have no qualms about admitting I don’t do maths. ‘I can do WORDS,’ I intone, ‘words are MUCH FRIENDLIER and more comfortable and don’t SPIKE me so much.’ And then I get loads of sympathy and people absolutely do my maths for me. Hoopla!
See, no trouble asking for help with maths. None at all. I’ll do it right now – HELP ME HEEEEEELP MEEEEEE WITH THE EVIL SOUL-DESTROYING MATHS! Tada! Nice and clear intent, simple message, good emphasis. You got it, yeah?
Good. Go me!
So why can’t I do it for other areas of my life?
Why can’t I say to someone, anyone, ‘Help, I need help, I’m struggling, I feel sad and alone, I’m so bored and freaking out, please help me, please just talk to me, or check I’m OK, please’?
And the STUPID THING IS, I deleted that sentence and rewrote it a few times to make it sound less needy. Fucksake.
I’m an idiot, essentially. I have excellent friends and a totes shawesomeballs family. They rock. I luff them lots. I KNOW I can rely on them for all the support, love, advice, and company I may need. I know this, and I’ve received a lot of that good stuff in the past. I just can’t ASK for it. I hate bothering people. I worry that they’ll feel obliged to help me, while muttering under their breath about how self-involved I am, and then I worry that they think I don’t appreciate them enough, when I do, I really absolutely totally do, and I am so grateful to everyone who ever helps me, ever. I feel, sometimes, like I have to persevere, and endure, because that’s what life is, and I should just quit moaning, get on and do it.
I’m a single mum. I do the parenting thing, on my own, for the best part of the week. It’s difficult and tiring and, haha, sometimes, almost as bad as doing maths. The relentlessness of playgroups, toddler groups, the supermarket, tidying up felt-tip fucking pens, wiping clean a shit-encrusted arse, feeding, bath time, pushing the buggy, hoovering up bits of crushed chalk, finding stickers in my knickers, having Cbeebies on for what feels like forever, finding fridge magnets in my bed, putting away, washing, hoovering, wiping, tidying, carrying, pushing, fucking-shitting-hula-hooping, why the fuck did I buy her a hula hoop… yeah. It’s full on. Sure, it’s not dodging bullets or fighting off sea monsters, but y’know.
The rewards are obvious. I have a beautiful, funny, gregarious daughter. I would do all the above, and more, and even more, and backwards, blindfolded, if it meant she was happy and healthy and having fun. Just sometimes, y’know, I need to acknowledge that it’s HARD on my own.
Despite me writing all this, I am not likely ever to admit to needing help. And I’d like to reiterate, I am NOT asking for help right now. The last few days I’ve needed to, badly, but I made it through. I’ve been busy, kept occupied, distracted my stupid brain and had a fucking good cry when I’ve needed to. I’ve set myself some personal goals. I’ve listened to the advice of some sage and learned people. I’ve managed to keep on top of the housework WHICH IS A FUCKING MIRACLE. See? Me no need help. Unless it’s for maths. Can anyone do my maths?
What I’m TRYING to say, in a roundabout-ish sorta way, is, don’t be a dumbarse like me. If you think you need help, ASK for some. There’s no shame in asking. Ever. If you have people around you who care, then ask them for help. It could be all they need to do is listen as you admit to feeling scared, or sad, or lonely. I told someone today that I felt like shite and, funnily enough, felt better for it. Once the words had crept past my lips it was like I’d expelled them. Magic. Sure, it doesn’t solve everything but at least it’s not bottled up inside me where the most damage is done. Admission counts. Fo sho.
Please do my maths.
Do you find it difficult asking for help? What stops you? What would you never ask for help with?