Well, I know what I’ve been told
You gotta know just when to fold
But I can’t do this all on my own
No, I know, I’m no Superman
Lazlo Bane, “I’m No Superman”
I had a rough start at the beginning of the week, a culmination of several situations over the course of the past few weeks, days, that reached a boiling point and erupted in a torrent of emotion. It was a time of weakness, I would say, but I know that isn’t right.
Rather, it was a time of being human.
I stand by everything I wrote, though I wrote it while emotion was running high and I felt my strength was running low. Those fears have abated, my strength is restored, but the sentiments, the questions, still remain, retreating deep again. Because I don’t know if I’ll ever have answers, though I may have some sense of understanding. I may have peace.
This wasn’t a test for me. This wasn’t a challenge, though it felt like one as I cursed the Universe out. It may not have even been a lesson to be learned.
But it was a chance. A chance to realize what I have, in the face of what I’ve lost, in the fear of what I could lose.
I don’t really know how to ask for help when I need it most, and, truth be told, I felt ashamed that I needed to. I think I thought that I’m supposed to be some kind of superwoman — able to handle anything that life throws at me with ease.
Only, I’m no superwoman. I’m just human. And it’s not always so easy.
And I think I thought that I had to carry all that myself, holding up my world, trying not to bend and break from the weight of it all, trying to still be there for others as I struggled to keep myself upright.
Only, I can’t take on the world. At least, not always by myself. I needed a bit of back-up.
I needed someone.
In never wanting to place the burden on someone else, I ended up placing all of it upon myself, but that weight is sometimes too much for one person, causing more harm than good. Everyone needs someone at times, even the fiercely independent types. And I’ve been foolish to think otherwise, to think that asking for help was a sign of weakness.
Because I’ve realized that there’s a strength in numbers, and your family and friends and community are there, answering your plea, though it’s sometimes a silent one. I’ve found that they will hear you when you’re unable to say the words, urging you to transfer some of that weight onto their shoulders, willing because they care just as much. I’ve discovered that sense of relief when you realize independence doesn’t mean being alone, that the people who surround you will hold you up when you feel ready to fall.
And I’ve realized that even Superwoman had her back-up, just as I have mine. And she only needed to speak up, ask for help, and they would be there: ready and waiting.