Asking for help is something I rarely do. It takes a lot before I’ll admit that I need help… You know, like missing work for months on end until I can’t go for an entire week straight and am unable to stop crying because I feel so stressed and guilty and hopeless and powerless and out of control….
Yesterday I mentioned that I crashed. I’ve been doing so much physically and mentally that I just hit a wall and couldn’t go back to my course in the afternoon. I felt a combination of guilt and relief. Relief because I felt I was being true to my body and what my various physical ailments were telling me. Guilty because I am supposed to be there every day, all the time. I was failing, flaking out.
My physical ailment was an upset stomach but it didn’t sit well saying that, because that was only the tip of the iceberg. So when I randomly opened my binder today, it was fitting that I landed on one of the first pages where it talked about our responsibilities. One of these was to let people know if we are feeling overwhelmed, struggling with the class, etc.
So I decided to stay after class and talk to my teacher. I told her that I’d had an upset stomach, but that really it was that my upset stomach, my exhaustion and all my stresses combined and that I had hit a wall. She was very understanding and asked about whether it was a mental or physical wall. I thought a bit of both. Mostly I feel like I have been taking so many steps this past year to regain my health, something that the course complements, but that I was feeling pushed to go further than I was ready for in the course. That I normally recognized and accepted my limits in a class, adjusting poses as necessary, but that in teacher training I was feeling pushed into doing more that I’m physically ready for right now. How I was feeling weak as a result.
She said she thinks I’m very strong and talked about how there is no shame in stepping back when needed to just observe. I’ve been feeling until now that that was just lip service, because it seemed we were being purposely worked to the breaking point.
But speaking to her today, explaining where I’m coming from and what I’m feeling, was such a relief! Sure it was hard and, while I didn’t cry, my eyes started to water at times. But I feel now that she understands better and knows that I’m trying my best and that some things are just too much for me right now. And that’s okay. I can still learn and focus on the parts that I find nourishing and that I want to bring to my own style of class.
She hugged me and I felt a lot better, no longer guilty now that I was open about the fact that I’m really overwhelmed and have been struggling. It’s funny how admitting these limitations made me feel stronger and more whole.
On the drive home I almost cried but resisted because that would be so unsafe! But now that I am home the tears are starting to flow. I will try my best to allow myself to feel what I’m feeling so that I can begin to process the feelings, acknowledge them, learn and move on.
Already just by admitting my feelings of inadequacy, I feel like I’ve grown a lot.