When the numbers don’t add up

When the numbers don’t add up

This coming weekend, we were to have a free informational symposium for military families. It was to be our 5th one.
Unfortunately, this event had to be canceled. The registration was so low that it wasn’t feasible to pay the staff to set up and tear down or expect those who were participating to be thrilled at the low numbers and pleased that they had given up their Saturday morning.

This is not unusual in the military community where, “Everything is fine” is the standard reply. Where, I can do this by myself, I don’t need to seek assistance, is a prevalent mindset, not just among service members but in their spouses and children as well. When did asking for help become a weakness?

As one veteran told me, “Extremely useful resources continue to be underutilized. It’s disappointing that the veteran community lacks the willingness to take advantage of these services being offered to them for free. It’s not like the need isn’t there.”

It’s not only the military community that shies away from free help.
Consider these groups who also silently struggle:
• Victims of abuse
• People with well-hidden addictions
• Those who have thoughts of suicide
• High authority figures

*Note: I often say that you can’t “lump” a group of people together. Please realize I am not saying that all people in the above-mentioned groups refuse to ask for help. Of course, there are many who seek help, but there are too many who should and don’t.

Why do people avoid asking for help? It could be…
• they don’t think they need help
• shame
• embarrassment
• lack of trust
• hopelessness
• they see asking for help as a sign of weakness

Do you realize how much strength it takes to conquer your feelings of doubt and reach out to ask someone for help with something? It takes courage to admit you need help. Courage is a strength.

If you need assistance, please have courage, be strong, reach out and talk to someone. Let them know you could use some help. Ask for help.

If you think someone may need assistance, ask them. One of the most important questions you can ask someone you think may be struggling is, “Are you okay?” They may say they are fine. OR…It might just be the right question at the right time. The mask they wear may start to tear and they may decide to share with you. Listen to them. They will thank you for it later.