When I was young I had a sing-a-long activity book, accompanied by a tape, about personal safety by the Safety Kids. The telephone song, Stay outside of my line, and The togetherness kids are just a couple of the songs that taught and encouraged good personal safety. One of my personal favorites was titled Yell and Scream, “Sometimes you just got to yell and scream, sometimes it’s the only thing to do. Noisy as a firetruck you just got to open up and get the crowds attention turned to you.” The message was pretty clear, if someone tries to steal or hurt you, you should yell and scream. It is a catchy tune and I find myself singing it every now and again. In childhood it taught a valuable lesson and I found a completely different application for it when I became an adult .
After my second son was born I had a few health problems, frequent cramping and dizzy spells, among other things. My son wasn’t an exceptionally good sleeper either. I spent most of the night walking the hall or holding him on the couch trying to find some nonexistent perfect position that would help him sleep soundly. The combination of the health issues and lack of sleep started to take their toll. I was trying hard to do what I could to take care of myself and my family but I was worn out. School shootings in the news usually will upset me to some extent but after months of not feeling well and not sleeping well hearing the news of the Dawson College shooting closely followed by the Amish school house shooting was too much for me to cope with. I felt a complete absences of hope.
I knew I wasn’t doing well but didn’t know what to do. I silently hoped someone would notice and do something to help me.One day an older lady dropped by my house with a loaf of bread, she said she was thinking of me and thought she would bring me something, she then said “I know you’re self sufficient and got things all together so I won’t stay, but here.” I decided if that’s how it appeared I would just play along because I really didn’t want her to think any less of me but in reality I just wanted to cry and say “No I’m really not doing OK right now. HELP!”
One night I was sitting in the bathroom, just so I could get a break, and I looked at the drain in the tub and thought, “I wish I could just turn into a puddle of water and wash away down the drain. I’ll stay there till everything gets better then turn back into a person.” Weird, I know, but true. This would be the moment that the familiar tune of Yell and Scream should have started to play. I was too far into this feeling of hopelessness to get out by myself. I decided it was time to do what I needed to do to get help, I decided to tell my husband how bad I was feeling. He of course knew something was wrong but hadn’t realized how bad it was. I was doing a pretty good job of hiding it because I really didn’t want to disappoint anyone with my, as I viewed it, weakness. It wasn’t automatic but after a long discussion with my husband and with his help I was able to work through the sadness and hopelessness. I just needed a little extra help and support and my husband was able to provide that for me.
I learned that sometimes you can’t wait for help sometimes you just have to do what the song from my childhood had advised to do, Yell and Scream. Sometimes people don’t know you need help, it’s OK to Yell and Scream,well you shouldn’t have to literally Yell and Scream, you should ask for help before it gets to that point. It can be hard to admit you need help. For me my pride had held me back as well as some notion that admitting I needed help would let people down. Sometimes we do just have to use the two strong legs we’ve been given to stand up and support ourselves but it’s OK to ask for some support along the way as well. The trick is knowing when to stand and when to lean, good luck!