Those were the words coming out of my mouth as I tilted sideways in my kitchen – crutches sliding on the tile floor, coffee cup tilting precariously.
And then, splat!
Luckily, I think I did no new damage to my recently broken right ankle, or to my “good” left ankle, which is still black and blue from the sprain. But my pride – ouch.
I am a “fixer”. A problem solver, a helper – I am usually the one who rushes into assist everyone else. I don’t do sick or needy too well and I have real trouble asking for help. So, while my mom, husband and wonderful friend have helped me so much in the past two days since my accident, I just couldn’t bring myself to ask someone to volunteer yet again, just to wait on me during the day.
Which is why I found myself on the kitchen floor this morning, covered in coffee and terrified that I might end up back in the ER with one (more) misstep.
Why is it so hard for some women to admit that they aren’t super heroes after all?
One week ago, I was trying to adjust to my new “normal” of being between jobs for the first time in 19 years. I thought the anxiety issues I was experiencing were a bit, well, dramatic and dealt with them by upping my exercise schedule and revamping my health routines (including a visit to three doctors for checkups). By last Thursday, I was starting to feel more like myself. You know what getting comfortable means – it means a change is right around the corner.
My change happened suddenly in a tangle of limbs at the bottom of a staircase late on Monday evening. Followed shortly by trips (no pun intended) to the ER, orthopedic clinic and Walgreen’s. And pain, don’t forget the pain. Ouch.
But the aftermath is what I can’t quite conquer. My brain still thinks I can jump out of bed in the morning, or trot across the room to get a cup of coffee. It is a humbling experience when you have to ask for help to get into your underwear, let me tell you. Thank God for husbands, moms and good friends.
So I started out this morning with confidence that I could master the art of my new daily routine by doing what I do – figuring out little life hacks. Cute little hacks like gathering everything I need from the bedroom in a sturdy tote bag and lowering it over the bannister so I don’t have to tackle the stairs more than once a day. Or standing balanced on my crutches in the middle of the kitchen trying to put together a decent cup of coffee and breakfast.
Just as I’m giving myself a virtual fist bump for adjusting to my new “normal”, one crutch slipped a bit and I tumbled, in slow motion, hitting the door, then the wall, and finally sliding down to the floor in a shower of coffee.
That old saying “pride goeth before the fall” rings a bit true this morning. Maybe I’ll learn a new trick by all this, and find a way to adjust to new challenges moment by moment, instead of pretending that I have to make my days appear normal in the aftermath of change.
Repeat after me…I don’t have to do it all.
I don’t have to fix everything.
It’s OK to ask for help right now.
Who can bring me a Dr. Pepper?