Updated: Jun 4
The first blog post for my new communications consultancy was supposed to be something insightful. Something that would set the tone for my success. Something that people would take notice of and entice them to want to work with me.
But then I fell and broke my nose … and bruised my ego. And I was reminded of an important lesson: It's critical to ask for help when you need it.
How Did I Get Here?
After waking up in acute pain post a colonoscopy, I did not want to wake up my family. So I decided to go get some ice for my stomach and water. On the way down the steps, I passed out from pain, tumbled down a few steps, and hit my face on the floor.
Even after that, I soldiered on to the kitchen — probably in shock — and grabbed a towel to dab the bleeding from my nostrils. Still some part of me wanted to manage the pain alone, and went to the bathroom for aspirin.
That’s when I turned on the light and realized I cracked the bridge of my nose. At that point, I FINALLY asked for help.
I woke my husband, and we actually discussed if I needed to go to the hospital or not. But when my teeth wouldn't stop chattering and I was covered in a cold sweat, he escorted me to the car, scooped up our daughter, put her in her car seat, and took me to the ER.
The staff kept me through the night; I got a cat scan to ensure no brain bleeds and no internal injuries, and got seven blue stitches. After six hours, the results came back negative (which is positive) and they let me leave.
It’s been mildly embarrassing for me to share this, I thought, because it makes me feel like I’m getting old. But I realized it’s more embarrassing because I didn’t ask for help.
When I became a mom 5+ years ago, my moms group would encourage each other to ask for help. Struggling with breast feeding? Visit a lactation specialist. Feeling depressed? See a therapist. Frustrated with sleep training? Hire a sleep specialist. Because of supermoms on Instagram and pressure put on us to have it all, asking for help often feel makes us feel weak or that we’re not doing a good enough job. What I learned in those early days, months, weeks, and years is that it takes a village to raise a child and stay sane while doing it. And what I forgot last week, in pain, in the middle of the night, is that if I need help, I should still ask for it, whether it's about raising a child or needing other support.
So for those who need to hear it — whether you need help at home or work or school — ask for help if you need it. It literally could be the difference between life and death.
My embarrassment has been replaced with gratitude. It could have been much, much worse. I’m in some discomfort and will have doctors appointments for the next couple of weeks (and may have a crooked nose forever) but I’ve been reminded about what’s important.
And that there is no shame in asking for help when I need it.
How to tie this back to me new communications consultancy? That's not the point. This post is about sharing gratitude. Gratitude to those who supported me last week, including our moms, my friends, my family, and my colleagues. Gratitude for those who supported me when launching Achieving Good Communications (mompreneurs group, you know who you are). And gratitude to everyone who makes me grateful to be alive today and everyday.