The Art of Accepting Help

I recently found myself in a situation where I could not hold back my tears, and that too, in public. And not the kind of public that doesn’t actually know you, and they’re just these strangers giving you weird looks or maybe a few concerned taps on the shoulder asking if you’re okay; but the kind of public that sees you almost every other day. So basically, I hid my face and I cried as quietly as I could, knowing full well that they knew I was crying. And when I was asked if everything was okay, being the emotionally mature adult that I am, I just stormed off. I just left as if it was their fault that I was crying, as if how dare they ask me if everything was okay? How dare they feel the need to check up on me? How could they think that I needed help? I’m Tooba freaking Arshad, I don’t need help!

[ Laughing hysterically ] I know I sound like an idiot right now. But believe me, you all would have reacted the exact same way in this particular situation. I’m not that different.

My main goal has been to get people to be more vulnerable, right? And I think it’s safe to say that I’m still learning that myself. I’m learning to accept myself, to accept that I also need help sometimes, to accept that it’s okay to need help sometimes, and to actually accept the help that comes along my way.

A lot has happened in the past couple of months. My life has changed…again. And I’m used to it. A couple of people have been relating it to the fact, you know, about how I opened up about my issues and that’s why all of this happened. Honestly, at this point, I don’t even know what to think anymore. You know that feeling, when it’s not about not trusting anyone, it’s about not trusting yourself enough to make that decision. And you just feel lost. I’m officially lost.

It is in situations like these that we feel the need to look externally, to look for someone to come and save us, a knight in shining armor to rescue us from the darkness that consumes our soul. No one’s coming, honey. No one’s coming. And that’s okay.

We talk about how it’s not healthy to rely completely on someone else for your needs, for your protection, to cater to everything, to save you from anything. It’s not. You have to learn to be your own hero, you have to learn to be your own savior, you have to learn to help yourself.

But, sometimes, it’s okay. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to accept that you’re struggling and you need a little bit of help. But we don’t do that. It’s like we can’t even do that, you know? It’s like, there’s so many reasons. Off the top of my head… Maybe you have a perfectionist view of yourself and you feel like asking for help would be weak. Maybe you are so used to being the helper that it almost feels unnatural to ask for help. Maybe you have a little bit of, you know, pride associated with that. Or maybe you feel you’re unworthy. Or you don’t trust others. Or you feel that you’re not as bad in a situation as they are, and they probably need the help more than you do. Or maybe you could just push through and you don’t actually need the help!

And there’s so many traumatic events that each and every one of these insecurities, these feelings, could stem from, and they’re so overlapping that it becomes hard to identify which one’s coming from where, so you can fix it. I mean, for me, each and every one of these reasons holds true. Each and every one of these reasons is why I don’t ask for help. That’s a problem, right? That’s so many. My point is, there’s a reason I don’t ask for help – I didn’t ask for help, I do ask for help now, just a little bit. Because I found a simple solution.

See, I imagine that a person, let’s say XYZ…whenever I’m struggling, I imagine there’s a person with the same issues that I’m facing. They come to me for help, and they have all of these reasons, all of these thingies going on in their head, and if I’m able to find some compassion for them, brush off all their insecurities and help them, then maybe I deserve the same too. If I can help them in a heartbeat and think of it as not that big of a deal, if I can actually give so much, then maybe it’s okay to be on the receiving end sometimes too. It is not that big a deal.

See, asking for help is not an external process. It takes a lot of work internally too. You need to be self aware. You need to accept your needs, identify them, understand them, and have a level of comfort with your own self. And asking for help, that’s just the first step. Accepting help that comes along your way with or without you asking for it, that is another ordeal entirely. Sometimes it takes you swallowing your pride, sometimes it requires you to trust others again, sometimes it needs you to heal your trauma, to deal with your insecurities.

It is true, you know, no one’s coming to save you. At the end of the day, you’re at your own mercy. You have to pick yourself up. But, maybe, just sometimes…a friend, a neighbor, a coworker, a colleague, or a kind-hearted stranger, they could just give you a tiny bit of help, a little bit of push along the way. Maybe that’s all you need. And, you know, that could be enough for you.

Don’t get me wrong, people do weird shit. But, I have to believe that life can still surprise you. Keep opening up. Keep being vulnerable. Keep accepting things the way they are. And maybe, you know…you can make sense of the chaos that is life.

On that note, I will see you all next week. Have a good week.

Looking for more information?

Enter your email address below to have the resume sent out to you.

Can’t get enough?

Follow on social media to get more personal updates.


Blog: The Art of Accepting Help