Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Currency of Helping...

I've been having a bit of a tough day. Actually it's been a bit of a tough month, but it's really come to a head today, and for no real reason, except that it's just all coming crashing down for me on an emotional level today - maybe it's because I've been mostly sitting here while Dave slogged his guts out emptying the garage and refilling it, and now he's cooking dinner, etc...

Helping people carries currency for humans. It's a universal. We all help one another and in return we are helped when we need it. Most people help without expecting anything in return, the satisfaction of helping is payment enough. I guess though, that for most people when they are helped, they WANT to return the favour.

I know this is true fo me.

The thing is, in the past couple of years, I've felt quite improverished when it comes to having the resources to help other people, and yet I've needed so much help myself. Sometimes to the point where I wonder if I'm putting strain on my friendships with people. I try to limit the amount of help I ask for and I try to find ways to help others, but more and more, especially in recent months, I've felt extrememly frustrated because I'm always so far behind in the helping stakes.

Not being able to drive is the biggest issue for me. So often, helping others means getting to them, and getting to them quickly (when they need you, obviously). Because I don't drive, this is not something I can do for people. I can't offer to run errands fo people, or bring them food or supplies when they're sick, or take their kids places, or even come over for a chat when they need it. I can't spontaneously take someone out for a treat to cheer them up, be a last minutes step in in a crisis.

So, people end up helping me, and I have nothing much to offer in return.

As well as this, I feel so dependant on people. I'm so dependant on Dave so much of the time, and my fiends who are always going out of their way to make things easier for me.

It's just really messing with my self-image atm.

It is just really hard to hold your head up high when all you ever feel like you're doing is asking people for favours. I often wonder how long it will be before people ust start avoiding me because, oh god, she's going to ask for another favour. So, then I try to get along without asking for help and then I end up screwing myself up by trying to cope with stuff I really can't cope with on my own.

So today I'm really struggling with feeling worthwhile, with feeling equal and valuable and worthy. I have to figure out some other way to be more helpful and less of a drain on other people's resources.


Rachael said...

There are many many ways to be a good friend Sif that don't involve those things you mentioned...listening and being there emotionally for someone comes to mind.

Also I daresay that most people help others because they really do care for and WANT to help that other person. And how wonderful that those people exist in the world...

I do have a bit of an idea what you are talking about because there are so many things I'd like to do for others (which include returning favours) but feel I don't have the resources atm caring for all the kids etc. So even though I drive and could be available for an emergency for example, I feel quite time (and energy) poor right now.

((hugs)) Hope your spirits lift soon!

Juniper said...

Hey, Sif, don't think twice about asking if you need it. Like RachM says, there are many ways of being a good friend - and you give back as good as you get!

(((hugs))) if you are feeling blah though!

Leah said...

I can really see how it does affect your self image, the frustration of what you'd like to be doing compared with what is really attainable now. It says a lot about you that you feel this most keenly in relation to what you'd like to give to others, when I am know it impacts on you doing stuff for yourself to a large degree as well.

I imagine in the future, while you still won't be able to drive, with your kids older and more independent, you will really relish those opportunities when they arise. You'll have the time and money to hop in a taxi to see a friend in need for example. Life is long - lots of time to reciprocate "in kind" while you reciprocate in other ways now.

Good Job!