From Tracie: I Wouldn't Ask For Help

Saturday, October 04, 2014

I Wouldn't Ask For Help

When I was a new mom, deep in the fog of postpartum depression, I remember one of the first Sundays of going to church with my daughter. Between breastfeeding and diaper changes, I missed most of the service, and felt stuck in a little basement room after church while everyone else was socializing.

There were tears, from the baby and me.

It was not a good time. But I was determined to be (what I now understand is an unattainable standard) a perfect mom, and that started with breastfeeding and not ever being the woman whose baby interrupted the church service with even the smallest squeak of noise.

I thought I was projecting an "I have it all together" air as I snuck out the back door of the sanctuary, but actually my imminent melt-down was visible to the people who knew me well.

I know this, because I overheard a friend talking to his wife and my husband after church that day, "She won't ask for help, but she definitely needs it."

She won't ask for help.

Was that me? You bet it was. Every single bit of it. I would do everything on my own, and it would be just fine - as long as you ignored those tears and the desperate look in my eyes.

In the months that followed, I remembered those words often. I was thankful for the offers of help that came my way, and I even managed to ask for help myself a couple of times. That might not seem like a lot of progress, but it really was for me.

Help Me! - It is okay to ask for help.

Eleven years into the future, and I'm in a different place in my life. I'm parenting a tween now. I have different struggles and new lessons to learn. But I still think back to that hot summer day when I heard, "She won't ask for help."

Am I still that person? Not asking for help?

Some days I am. It is hard to know what to do in this life.

But I do know one thing for sure, even if I don't take my own advice when I should: I know there is nothing wrong with asking for help. It isn't weak. It isn't a sign of failure. It doesn't make you less than in any way. Because recognizing your need, and reaching out to have it met, is actually one of the strongest things you can do.

Today, I'm feeling very strong.

Which is why I can tell you honestly how much I need help every day.

Sometimes it is little things like realizing the sink is full of dishes and I won't be finished with work before it is time to make dinner. And sometimes it is issues that are much larger and more serious. But no matter the size of the problem, I am still learning to ask for help.

Help from the Lord. Help from my husband. Help from my daughter. Help from Google. Help from friends who walk similar paths. Help from believers who pray. Help from family and friends who love me unconditionally. Help from people who know more than me, and are willing to share that knowledge.

Help. I need it. Chances are, there are times you need it, too.

Don't be afraid to reach out and ask for that help. You are not alone.


  • If you are in immediate crisis or struggling and need help, or you want to help a loved one, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
  • If you are the victim of domestic violence and need help, or you want to help a loved one, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. 
  • If you have been the victim of sexual assault and need help, or you want to help a loved one, you can contact RAINN or call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.
  • If you suspect that a child is being abused, or if you are a child or teen who is being abused, you can contact Child Help or call the National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD.
  • For more helpful resources, check out this Find Help resource list from To Write Love On Her Arms.


  1. I must admit I was definitely that mom the first time out and didn't want to admit that I needed help, but little by little I had to do just that especially when I got pregnant again when Emma was only 7 months old and ended up on bedrest for part that pregnancy needing help from both my mom during the days and Kevin after work in the evenings taking care of Emma, as I couldn't do much being on bedrest. Flag forward to now and still have my moments, but at least I am more open to asking for help then I once was.

  2. Motherhood was what taught me that it was okay to ask for help, but it's still a challenge for me. And yet I think it's perfectly fine when other people ask for help - brave and wonderful, actually.

  3. I was that woman asking for help to me was a sign I was weak and a failure in some way so I struggled on alone and yes Tim was here and he tried to help me but at times I wouldn't allow him I don't know why I was like that I just was it took a long time for me to allow others to help

  4. Stopping in from SITS. I can totally relate. I'm still not very good at asking I'm getting better at it.

  5. I think that as women we think we have failed to ask for help, even though we all need it. I'm still a little too independent to feel like I can ask for or accept help, even when it is offered, but when I was suffering with hyperemesis in allthree of my pregnancies, I learned that I had to.

    I also learned from some great examples of friends. They did not wait for me to ask, nor did they ask me what they could do to help (because I would have said, "nothing"). Instead they called me up and said things like, "I am going to take your toddler every Friday morning from 8-12 so you can rest." or "I am bringing you dinner every Tuesday night." Sometimes they even showed up on my doorstep and said, "I have ten minutes, let me do some dishes for you."

    I'm trying harder to be like them, because the truth is, most people won't ask for the help, even though they need it.

  6. I think when we're depressed it's even harder to ask for help or reach out in any way.

  7. This is beautiful, Tracie. So true. I am glad you've learned that balance and found yourself asking for help. I think if you and I had not come to eventually do so we might not have found one another. And for that I'm truly grateful. xo

  8. Oh this post resonates with me Tracie! It's so hard in this day of social media to not feel like we need to do it all! I'm learning to be the wife and mom that I am and not someone I see online that I think I need to be. And to ask for help when I need it instead of feeling like I need to do everything myself. Thanks for sharing!

  9. We definitely need each other! It's hard sometimes to ask for that help. Thank you for encouraging others!

  10. I have trouble asking for help too. I have to remind myself often that it is OK to do so!

  11. I used to be a diehard "won't ask for help" person. What changed my view was this: Someone asked me to reflect on how much joy I got from being able to help others. Then she asked me why I was denying others the joy of being able to help me. BAM! That perspective really changed my attitude.