During times of crisis, things can get overwhelming if you try to do it all yourself. At different times we’ve tried to remind one another of that.
Mike: Since my mom has been sick, I’ve been overwhelmed with hospital visits, calls to the doctor, hospital bureaucracy, and still trying to be a husband and maintain my job responsibilities. There have been a lot of obstacles to overcome, especially in trying to make sure my mom is getting the proper care that she needs. I have been running myself ragged.
Marion: When Mike feels this way, I immediately remind him that I’m here to help. That he doesn’t need to do everything himself. I’ve made phone calls to try to alleviate some of the hospital bureaucracy issues. Recently, I gave some suggestions to contact others who we know can help us make the proper decisions in his mom’s aftercare treatment. I want Mike to know that I’m supporting him and that we’re in this thing together.
Mike: Sometimes, I forget that Marion’s on my side. I take her line of questioning as challenging me instead of assisting me. I assume that she’s thinking I’m not doing enough, or doing something wrong. A few times, I’ve even flown off the handle and stormed out of the room. I’m learning that I need to trust Marion’s instincts and ask her questions in response, instead of taking her questions as an attack against my judgments.
Marion: When Mike walks out of the room, I don’t want him to feel hurt or misunderstood. I ask him to come back so I can find out what’s happening, what he’s feeling, how I can help. I come from a background where my mother asked countless questions of doctors and medical professionals (she was a medical secretary). I now realize that Mike often felt that I was saying that he was wrong in his assessments, but it wasn’t a question of who’s right or wrong (at least that was not my intention). I wanted him to know that I am always on his side from the very beginning, and what’s more, I always will be.
Mike: Sometimes we men think we need to do it all (I’ve heard that mothers also tend to struggle with this in regards to their children). I need to remember that we all need help from time to time, and that it’s okay to ask for it. Moreover, I need to be able to accept it when it’s offered, especially from those closest to me. It doesn’t make me weak or incapable of dealing with the situation at hand.
Both: It takes a big person to ask for help. We’ve both learned that over the years. Asking for help shows a true maturity, that none of us can do it alone. As Catholics, we know that we are never alone. God is with us, and the others in our lives are here not as obstacles but as support. So why indeed should we deny ourselves what God has provided, to help us make it through?