I had a major breakthrough this week - I was able to don my bra and buckle it from behind for the first time in almost 6 months. And I didn’t have to ask for help!
If you’ve been following Perfect Avocado, then you’ll know that Amy and I are sisters of the wounded shoulder. I broke mine on vacation in March and Amy suffered an undiagnosed rotator cuff tear for quite some time, culminating in surgery this May. We are always updating each other on our physical therapy and new movement thresholds. We’ve officially reached the age where we regularly spend time talking about our health. Waaaaaaaaa! I never thought that would happen to me! I remember my grandmother talking about her ‘sugar’ aka diabetes, and my aunts talking about their arthritis. And me rolling my eyes. Well, I have arrived.
When you have to ask for help to put on your bra and stir spaghetti sauce, or even have meals delivered, it’s humbling. Like you, we’re women who are good at doing it for ourselves, (cue up the Aretha Franklin). Help? No thanks, I’m fine.
Now, I need help.
Silver linings though? Having to ask for help, and then allowing it in, that feels a lot like love. I mean really human, soft, make you wanna cry love. It’s pretty wonderful. Amy was incredibly grateful for all the support she received after her surgery - cards, flowers, food, and rides. My husband and daughter were amazing - jumping in to get things from high shelves, carrying suitcases, amazing massages and just being attentive.
It’s been quite a journey. When my doctor first gave me the news, I actually felt lucky. Three months to heal, just in time for summer? Sweet! But she’s a bone doctor and she meant the BONE would heal in three months - she didn’t tell me that I would still be broken. I’ve felt so invincible most of my life - I like to hike and bike and I gave birth to two children after all. Three months recovery? Totally doable. But here I am, 6 months later and my Warrior II still looks like a broken kite. In this last 6 months, I’ve come to terms with my own vulnerability. And even before my shoulder injury, I could no longer run faster than my daughter or wrestle my son to the ground. I’m the last one to summit. I can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound. But I have a new super power now. I can ask for help.
So, here’s a word to the wise for all of you. If you suck at asking for help, start practicing. First because it feels so good when your peeps come through. And secondly because, you’re gonna get here too, that damned aging process, and you’ll NEED help.
Plus, I bet you have GIVEN so much aid, so this is an opportunity for the universe to balance itself out. You’ve edited resumes, helped with homework, connected friends with jobs, made meals for sick friends, given rides, loaned books, loaned dishes, given recipes, recommended doctors, given advice, donated clothes, donated money, bought gas, loaned your car, babysat, given a cup of sugar, gotten someone dressed, helped with a shower, cleaned someone's house, stacked someones wood, provided a bed, bought a coffee, picked up a hitchhiker, washed dishes, and given your shoulder to cry on. And it all felt like love. Because that’s what love looks like.