Now that you may have recognized help is needed in your life, how do you know where to go to get the right help? There needs to be an internal connection (trust) for this to work. Frankly, it can be quite a circuitous path to find the help you need.
I remember reading another book, The Monster Within by Cynthia McClure. Cynthia went to numerous people to try to find help for her bulimia back before most people knew what it was. There were people — professionals — who told her to “just stop it.” There were people who told her what she really needed was a man in her life. There were people who just wanted to give her a pill to make the pain go away.
Cynthia knew she needed help. She also knew the answers she was being given and the options offered weren’t it. They didn’t connect with her. It wasn’t until she found someone willing to walk with her along the difficult road and inner journey to recovery that she found the help she needed.
Cynthia kept looking. She didn’t give up because the first people she went to had no clue of how to help her. Determined, she kept searching and asking questions, evaluating the answers, and trying them on for size regarding her own issues. Eventually she found the right fit: someone who understood bulimia and who had an ability to understand Cynthia. When you can combine someone with the ability to really know who you are with the capacity to provide help, then you have arrived at help’s step two with help, true help.
Denise knew she needed help from me (See Part 1). The help she wanted was to have more control in her life. The help I offered was for her to have less. Denise thought the way out of her problems with the relationships in her life, including her relationship with food, was to attain an even greater level of self-control. Only a rigid stranglehold on her emotions and “weaknesses” was going to allow her to wrestle these problem areas to the ground so she could claim victory. She wanted weakness purged from her life. Instead, I asked her to embrace it. I offered her help to give up her perfectionism, judgemental attitude, criticism, and negativity. She needed help; I offered it; then it was up to her to decide if she was going to accept it.
This is a critical third step to help. Once the need for help is acknowledged and offered, you still must make a decision to accept the help. When you do, your life becomes linked with the person who offered the help. A relationship of trust is established. Help is offered, but you must reach out, take it, and incorporate it into your life. When you do, you are changed.
I am pleased to say that Denise accepted my offer of help and was changed. She let me in past all of those “No Trespassing” signs, into the deep hurt, disappointments, frustrations, and betrayals in her life. Little by little, she came to embrace her weaknesses instead of running away from them.
By accepting herself, with all of her flaws that she’d tried so desperately to hide, she was able to begin to accept other people as no better or worse than herself. Anger and bitterness dispersed, and she was able to resist substituting food for it. Experiencing love, she was able to draw closer to God.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, anxiety or disordered eating, The Center • A Place of HOPE is here to help. Contact us today at 1-888-771-5166 and begin the healing process.