Though I took all Honors/AP classes in high school and did really well at nearly all of them, I found out the hard way I simply wasn’t cut out for Honors Chemistry … and probably should have cut my losses instead of pushing myself through the class.
But, being stubborn and not being one to easily accept that I’m not good at something … I finished the class.
Our teacher, Mrs. Gantz, used to tell us (her “Chem Wizards”) that we were “sucking wind” when we didn’t get something but thought we did/pretended to, to avoid embarassment … and then flunked a quiz or exam.
This happened a lot with me; I’d study like mad, I’d think I knew the material … and then suddenly would find myself battering test anxiety, discovering I couldn’t balance chemical reactions and was just kidding myself. I was always more interested in reading/writing/history than science, and it showed.Mrs. Gantz was a tough cookie, and though a lot of us struggled in her class (and we were the “smart kids”!), we all loved her infectious personality, which made class and lab interesting to say the least. I definitely didn’t want to drop it.
Still, there was “no way” (yes: I was all-or-nothing back then, too) I’d accept doing poorly in school, and, fun as it was most of the time (the non-quiz/test time), this class was my Achilles’ heel junior year of high school.
Sensing a lot of us were having trouble with the material, early in the year she created an after-school extra-help session twice a week. Since many of us were athletes or involved in other activities, she (smartly) planned it for after school but before sports/theater/band practices so it wouldn’t conflict.
I admit, I was a little embarassed to admit I needed the extra help … but I knew it was necessary.
So I put away my pride and joined the rest of us “smart kids” who just didn’t get it the first time around and needed a little nurturing .
With the extra help, I earned a respectable B in her class.
I learned that sometimes, it does take a village.
And I learned that asking for help can be challenging, but it is necessary at times.
Sometimes we’re better off taking a step back and not “trying” so hard (i.e., in terms of finding love, strengthening friendships/relationships, maybe even you could argue that goes for weight loss, too) … but other times we really need to step up to the plate and actively seek help.
For me, that chem class I had a love/hate relationship with was the first time I actively sought academic help. And it wasn’t the end of the world. I ended up getting a good grade, and, more importantly, had a good grasp on the material (not that I’d ever use it again!) by the time the school year ended.
Many years later, when I wanted to lose weight at age 24, I sought help with Weight Watchers Online. Using the program’s guidelines and my own dedication, I ended up losing 35 lbs.
And when it came to my DE recovery, I reached outside my comfort zone and sought professional help last year (in the form of talk therapy). Therapy ended in March. While I haven’t concluded this chapter quite yet and can’t say if it was a definitive “success,” I know that although the decision to start therapy wasn’t an easy one, it was the right one. It taught me so much about myself and my anxious nature, and helped me understand that I use food/exercise to cope with emotions/anxiety.
And now, in 2009, I’m at the final frontier of sorts, seeking help in other ways to overcome emotional/mindless eating, via reading about intuitive eating and trying to get a handle on things, since I feel like I’ve been sucking wind lately, to quote Mrs. Gantz.
Recovery comes at a cost, and I’m aware of that. I’ve said before, these extra pounds are worth getting over some unhealthy, ugly behaviors.
But though I haven’t chewed/spit since March, I’m not out of the woods yet, in that I’m still not 100% there when it comes to my relationship with food, as I noted last night. And so I’m willing to seek out whatever help I need to in order to get there, even if it’s in baby steps.
Because truly, there’s no shame in it.
How about you? Have you asked for help lately? Does asking for help (in any area of your life) scare you?