But I can't just say that.
I can't just ask that, because I'm afraid the answer will be no. Because the answer has sometimes been no before.
“Life is weird and annoying for geeks like me, because it doesn’t adhere to logic a lot of the time. It’s a wild Seussian machine. We put in Hard Work and Passion and Money and expect to get back Success, when we’re just as likely to get back Failure or Wild Monkeys or Surprise Baby. The hell of it is, we are told by the culture, our parents, ourselves, that Life is a logical machine. Now, sure, it’s really rare to put Nothing into the machine and get Success back from it, so it makes sense to load the machine with good stuff, but sometimes it’s just going to shoot out a giraffe at you.” Commander Logic, December 2011, How to Get Unstuck
Having a shitload of giraffe days in a row. Feels like I'm having a ton of giraffe years, if I'm being honest.
Life is not a logical machine.
I don't know what I'm putting into it, some days.
Some days, I can barely input "made sure children ate food that wasn't chocolate" and "homework got done and nobody got murdered." I mean, sure there's "Holy Shit, I helped my nephew Apply to colleges" days and days where the output is "Niece puts you as the person she admires most in a school project" days, but those are few and far between. Mostly it's "I woke the kids up and laid like a log for three hours, till I felt well enough to sit up and forage for food so I could take my pills" and "attempting to hold together the pieces of a family puzzle when other people are intent on hiding their pieces, or ruining them, or disguising them."
I don't exactly know how to ask for and receive help graciously. I mean, especially emotional help. Physical help is a hurdle I've had to jump over nearly every day for the past 23 years: Being chronically ill means sucking up a lot of your modesty or embarrassment or pride and just accepting that you physically cannot accomplish a thing without the aid of another human being. When you haven't showered by yourself in twenty three years, you learn pretty quick that physical help is something you're just gonna have to put your pride aside for. (Still: It isn't exactly easy to ask for that help. It still feels shameful, sometimes, or frustrating. It's just that I have a lot more practice with it, at this point.)
But emotional help? Saying "I'm overwhelmed," or "I'm exhausted," or "I'm so goddamn frustrated I want to cry 23 hours out of every damn day?" Well, those are harder for me. And part of the reason is that sometimes people in my life have either refused to help me - "What do you want me to do about it? You're too sensitive!" - or not realized I was actually asking for help and minimized it so that I felt uncomfortable continuing to reach out - "Everyone's overwhelmed or exhausted."
And I stopped seeing a therapist a long time ago, but I'm thinking - as I prod my niblings into their own counseling sessions, grumbling as they go - that it might be time to re-up on that front, find a new counselor for myself.
Because all there's all these damn giraffes around here, and the zookeeper doesn't quite know what to do with them all, by herself.