by Melissa Geissinger
I've never been good at accepting help. Call it pride, call it stubbornness, but it's one of my biggest faults. In college, I literally failed courses because I thought that going to my professor to tell him or her that I was struggling meant that I was admitting I was weak. We all suffer from this to some extent, but I am ashamed to admit that it took me 34 years to learn my lesson.
Burning Down The Walls
It literally took a fire that left me with nothing to break me down to the point where I learned to accept help. I couldn't help it. I was 7 months pregnant when the Tubbs fire raged through Santa Rosa. Where ordinarily I would be the first to stand up and race back into the fire to help my community, I had to admit that I was helpless. I had to admit that I was a victim.
By Letting Others Help You, You're Helping Them
It was one of the hardest lessons I've ever learned. We are extremely lucky to have had friends and relatives from all corners of our existence step up to a magnitude we never expected and to a point we didn't feel we deserved. Learning to say yes to them - the food deliveries, the donation page my friend set up, the clothing and shoes, the baby supplies - wasn't just accepting that we needed help. It was giving people who wanted to do something in the wake of tragedy an outlet. Something they could do to directly help someone who needed it. It made an impact.
You don't have to be walking through fire to be worthy of help. You could be going through a breakup. You could have lost a loved one. You could just be having a bad day.
Don't be foolish like I was for so long. You don't have to do it alone. Let people help. Be brave and say yes. Be grateful. And pay it forward when you can.