I Will Ask for Help

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

In memory of Adrian - July 11, 1982 to April 27, 2009

The last year or so I have endured the passing of a few friends and close family members. First there was Jeri, my dear friend of 30 years, taken by cancer. Other than family, Jeri was the only constant link that I had between my youth and middle age. Almost a year and a half later, I still think of her daily, and miss her presence in my life.

In the spring, Aunt Carolyn died of complications from open heart surgery, and within a month, Uncle George, after many years as a invalid, died from a brain aneurysm. A once close friend Judith died from complications of MS, and Kia from another degenerative disorder.

But those deaths, while painful, had been expected. Yesterday my cousin Adrian died. He was only 26 years old, about ½ my age. He was a pedestrian hit by a vehicle. There are indications that Adrian may have intentionally taken his own life, intentionally stepped in front of that that moving truck. I guess only God knows if it was self inflicted.

I keep thinking, if Adrian were in so much pain, suffering so much that he would be led to end his own life, why didn’t he ask for help. I am certain that anyone and everyone would have stopped everything to help him. His mother and father, his brother, all would have done anything they could for him. He had a church community. I am certain that every member of that church would have done anything possible had they seen his need. The same could be said for my family, his aunts, uncles and cousins. And he must have had friends that he could have asked. Everyone of us would have stopped everything we were doing to help Adrian, if we had been aware of his need.

And then I realized that I, like Adrian, have not asked for help when I needed it. I have been dealing with my own demons for the last three weeks and I have not asked a single soul for help. It is true that I don’t know exactly what the problem is, so it is very hard to articulate my need. But I have not made any attempt to reach out and let my friends and family know that I am floundering. I did not say to my team mates, ‘ I am finding it very hard to stay within my calorie range’ or ‘I am eating without being hungry, and I cannot seem to stop myself’. I didn’t tell anyone that I was depressed and finding it hard to get up off of the couch to exercise, or prepare healthy foods. I did not give anyone the chance to help me. And I know, had I only asked for help, everyone of you would have encouraged me, and would have given me helpful advise. Some would have even prayed for me. And I would have found comfort in knowing that other people care about my problems, even the self inflicted ones.

I hope I have learned the lesson. I am going to try to reach out for help.

Adrian, I hope that you have found peace.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    As Salaamu Alaikum Val,

    My prayer for you is that you are surrounded by a sense of peace and calm, that you feel the love that is present in the words of all who have responded to your call for help. May your days become brighter and your spirit lighter with each pasing day.

    Just know that your Fit Muslimah team and all the other SP teams that you're on are here for you to offer support via a kind word, or encouragement when you're feeling off-center or just not as motivated as you can be when you are at your best. Please know that your words have touched others and helped them to make their own acknowledgements about how the are feeling and even in your period of loss and struggle, you have still been a motivator for others.

    I pray you are feeling better and are inspired by the genuine love that comes across in all of the responses that have been sent your way. May The Most High continue to bless and protect you.

    4370 days ago
    Val, You are in my prayers, and know that we all go though this in our own journey in losing weight. The great thing about SP, is we don't have to do it ourselves! And that alone can lift you up to go another day! You are really doing better then you think. I see your walking steps are up, over 18,000 last Monday. Great Job!! You can see people do care, just by reading the comments left on this page. And you are right, if your young cousin had only asked. As the bible tells us, Ask and it shall be given. Thanks for sharing with us and may God's blessings be with you, Julie
    4374 days ago

    It is so wonderful to voice a problem, and to ask for help. I think, in fact, that it is the first step towards health. Eating issues are so often kept hidden and secret. I can't even count the number of times I've bought a candy bar or pint of ice cream, and then made sure to hide the wrapper or dump the carton before my family could see it. In fact, I did just that very thing about a week before the new challenge started.

    You have stepped away from old patterns by telling us you feel out of control with your eating. And, that is the first step towards a healthy attitude towards food.

    Thank you for trusting us with this!!!

    4375 days ago

    What an amazing gift you are to the universe, not only because you have a tremendously huge heart, but because you have the ability to articulate your depth beautifully. I am praying for you, your family and friends, and for Adrian's soul. These losses are so hard.

    I would so like to give you a hug right now, and reassure you that reaching out today is a wonderful thing and that you will find the direction and peace you seek. Your strength is clear to all of us who "know" you through SparkPeople, so I have no doubt you'll grow through this current pain. You are surrounded by loving folks who are happy to be there for you, whatever you need.

    What can I do to help?

    Peace & Blessings,
    4376 days ago
    I am so sorry for the many losses you are experiencing. At the same time, I see just how strong you are because you were able to express your downright raw pain of such losses and what it means to you.

    Your strength has enabled you to move out of your comfort range by writing the blog. That is growth. It takes faith and courage to move out of the comfort range. I have no doubt that you will be able to move forward because of it. You are even stronger because you did it.

    Many do understand your loss, your pain, your helplessness, lack of energy, etc. and even not wanting to face it ourselves. But we should reach out for support because we are loved......remember, YOU ARE loved and YOU deserve to be loved!!!

    Sometimes being physically active will be helpful. Even if it's only for 15 minutes you might find you feel a little bit better physically. Baby steps.
    That's what I am trying to do to get back into action. My prayers and thoughts are for you.

    Keep in touch with the team. We will challenge you, support you and kick your butt. Oh yeah, we can be nice too. LOL!

    4376 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/29/2009 10:37:09 AM
  • ECTA1211

    Your words are powerful and your pain is evident.

    I will keep you in my prayers.

    I appreciate all that you share with the Yellow Team.

    Just remember that when you give us a lift to give yourself one as well.

    You are a wonderful woman!
    4376 days ago
  • BETRME100
    Valerie, I'm so sorry for all of the losses you've suffered are in my thoughts and prayers. Writing about your feelings about the deaths of so many people who you've been close to will help you deal with those feelings. I hope you'll continue to write. And just know, anytime you need a friend here in Bloomington, I'm here for you...looking forward to May 9 and our get together! Take care of yourself, my friend.

    4376 days ago
    Val, I am so sorry for your losses. It is really hard to carry all the emotions that go with that kind of a loss. Know that we are all here for you anytime you need us. My thoughts and prayers will be with you during this most difficult time.
    4376 days ago
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and may you find peace in your heart. emoticon
    4376 days ago
    Val, my thoughts and prayers are with you at this very difficult time. The loss of so many people that are dear to your heart is a heavy burden to carry. As I was reading your words about your young cousin I was thinking that sometimes it is so difficult for us to say we need help - and then you admitted to this. I feel at times with this wonderful yellow group, full of so many positive people who are achieving wonderful things, ashamed for not always succeeding in this journey to weight loss and better health myself. I too often suffer in silence. Thank you for sharing what is in your heart. Even through something so awful you have helped not only yourself to understand the need to speak out when you need support but you have also helped me. Hugs
    4376 days ago
    I heard a hint and I totally understand. Been there, as I mentioned.

    I am so sorry for the losses you have faced and am encouraged that you have stepped out and wrote about it. I hope that makes you feel some better - talking it out usually does - it gives us a different view of what was in our head. Journaling is something I have always resorted to in a time of need. Sometime it is simply pen to paper that helps, sometimes it is the reflecting you are able to do.

    Please, continue to write - either here or to yourself. It does help.

    And most of all, move. Even if it takes every fiber of your being, get up and move - it will help - even if it is a little.

    And after that - share with us. This Yellow team has been here every step of the way for me and for all the team mates. It is one of the most nurturing groups I have ever had the privilege to be associated with. We are with you Val, in thought and prayer.

    Just ask - even if we do not have the answer, we are here to listen!
    4376 days ago
  • FABAT402009

    Val sending lots of love and prayers your way, for the loss of close friends and family and the loss of your young cousin. Anytime you need to chat, talk, whine or even cry. I'm here. I also have times when I struggle with sugar, eating horribly and pure lack of motivation and like yourself I deal with it in silence. So your blog really reminds us all, if we need help just ask for it!

    Take care and remember we're all here for you!
    4376 days ago
  • no profile photo CD1491480
    OH Valarie, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of friends and family. Sorry that you have been struggling with eating and exercising. I will be praying for you!

    4376 days ago
    What a profound blog! I am truly sorry for your loss. I lost my closest sister (11 months younger than me) when she was 22 and it is probable that she, too, chose her time to leave this earth. That knowledge continues to weigh heavy on my heart decades after her death. The "what if" and "if only" thinking is long lasting.

    I don't have much advice for you in terms of how to deal with Adrian's death but I do know that sharing the experience always helps, so you have done a healing thing by blogging. There seems to be a stigma surrounding suicide but it is a horrible symptom of an illness that wasn't caught and wasn't treated in time.

    As for your own demons, you are so right! You do not walk alone. Others have been on the path you now travel and others will come along after. The good news is that there are many exits and, with the help of all of us and the help of your family, I pray you find a safe exit quite soon.

    When you feel as you seem to do, you often feel frozen and incapable of exercise. The strange thing is that, when you DO exercise, those feelings often lessen and your world starts to feel brighter. I hope you will take a walk while listening to uplifting music or pick up the phone and call a close friend.

    You are an incredible person and I am so sorry you are dealing with dark times now. I do pray things start to pick up soon.

    LOTS OF HUGS!!!!

    4377 days ago
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