I never ask for help until I'm desperate, which is both a point of pride and, let's face it, as a failing of character. I am acutely hyper-aware (to the point of fantasy) of what a burden one could become, should one let others carry her.
Maybe I've just seen too many Lifetime movies...
So I have two or three people in front of whom I can fall to the floor, spill out my bag of burdens, and let these incredibly kind souls paw through the mess I've made of my life (this time), and pick up what they can, offering to bring it back once it's fixed/back to life/not so broken. To these people, I can never express enough gratitude. Not in this lifetime, anyway; they have saved me.
But here's the thing--there are so many more people for whom I would dig through bags of burdens than in front of whom I would spill mine. And, somehow, that makes the whole asking-for-help thing seem less onerous, less like I'm a drain on another's resources (energetic, emotional, financial), because I am SO willing to pay it forward.**
I'm going to ** that statement, though. I am also acutely aware of my freeloader antennae (and if you don't have one, develop one). I will work with you, as I will work with those who help me, but I will not carry you, nor do I expect you to carry me. I won't give you everything, even if I could, even if I wanted to.
And I don't want your everything. Not even all the good stuff. Because you know what? Even the good stuff can become a burden. Not to mention, I don't want to give all my good stuff away. I want to keep a secret or two. I want to recognize myself as a friend, as a co-conspirator, as a partner on this journey. My union with myself is a lifelong commitment.
I'm not sure anyone else but me would put up with me for that long, anyway.