This morning I saw a short video clip (before getting out of bed) of a middle-aged man on the Dr. Phil show. He was a quadriplegic and he was talking about how he has survived all these years without being able to take care of himself physically. He said something so very profound. He said, “I learned to be independent by depending on others”. He travels the world talking about his accident etc. He never travels with an assistant or nurse and he mainly relies on other people for his health and safety. I was in awe. I was sitting there thinking that this man is so brave and courageous. And how hard it is for a man to admit that he needs total physical care.
After I get out of bed and I am and getting dressed, I decided to listen to a sermon. One of my favorite female speakers was talking about being in a place of need. She said that it’s a scientific fact that we need connection to be a mentally healthy adult. And then she said something also very profound. She said, “People that can never admit that they need anyone, end up being “needy”.” And I was like, “Woah”. That hit right in the gut.
Since I was 5, I made it a point to not “need” others. I wanted to just be able to be independent and not be a “bother” to anyone. I valued myself for being able to be alone and be ok with it. When I’m sick, I don’t need anyone. When I’m sad, I don’t need anyone. My Mom told me how I caused her so much “heartache”. And to be fair, I did. But that made me even more determined to be alone, without need for others.
Even when I was married, I tried to be totally independent of him. Even as a mother, I try not to “need” my kids. I have even, at times, been annoyed by my friends who have appeared “needy”. I was always thinking that I was strong and they were weak.
Wow, what a revelation I have had this morning. It’s what Oprah calls an “Ah Hah” moment. I need to “need” to be healthy.
Yesterday a total stranger and fellow survivor reached out to me and offered her phone number and said I could contact her anytime I “needed” to talk.
So, I got the message God. I need others and they probably need me. Now, what do I do with that information? And how do I change my need to be an island?
Until next time – I am being MJ everyday.