Here I sit, a hot mess.

On the outside, I might look like I have my stuff together, but I don’t. Heck, maybe I don’t even look like I have my stuff together, but I’m trying. I’m trying to smile and pretend to be OK, but it’s hard. You see, last week my 7-month-old son had his third severe allergic reaction. When I say severe, I mean scary, ambulance ride to the ER type of severe. This is the third time I have watched my infant son become lethargic and pale and vomit so much his little body went limp. There are no words to accurately describe the horror of this situation. 

After our latest scare, my husband said it best, “That day we started surviving each day rather than living it.” I went into survival mode. I was nervous, anxious and falling apart inside. On the outside, I was trying my best to hold it together for our two older children. In my head, I was hiding it well, but apparently to everyone around me, I wasn’t hiding anything.

I was a mess and it showed.

Here’s the reality of scary situations: you may not be asking for help but that doesn’t mean you don’t need it.  

This is me NOT asking for help, but needing it. 

This is me sitting here crying, not wanting to be alone but too prideful to ask for someone to come sit with me. You wouldn’t even need to say anything, just being here would be enough.

Friends, show up and sit with us.

This is me trying to help myself but realistic enough to know it’s not working. I need someone to help pull me through this.

I’ve realized I can’t do it on my own. But I haven’t called one person to ask for help

Friends, call us, text us, and remind us you are there. Tell us over and over even if we don’t respond.  

This is me, needing help with our other two children but not asking because I desperately want the time with them. This latest scare has taken my time and energy. They deserve my time and energy, too—I just don’t have any to give at the moment. I’d love someone to come over and provide them some fun and laughs. They deserve to have fun even if I can’t. 

Friends, show up and love on our children. Be there as support so we don’t have to choose between our sanity and our children. Give us time to calm our nervous minds so we can get back to enjoying these moments with our little ones again. 

This is me sitting here nervous that another reaction will happen. Scanning over my son’s body for any sign of rash or distress. I’m not asking for someone to come and look at him to calm my nerves, but I’m wishing someone would show up. I’ve learned being alone can be scary. I’ve learned that responsibility can be debilitating. 

Friends, show up and remind us that our anxiety does not have to paralyze us. Remind us that we are capable of doing hard things and that it won’t always be hard.  

You see, I’m not asking for help out loud but inside I’m screaming for it. 

How many people in your life are doing the same? Are you sitting next to someone that is screaming for help, but you can’t see it or aren’t present enough to notice? Look around, someone you love might be needing help but too prideful to ask for it. 

Show up even if they aren’t asking.

I promise they’ll thank you later.

You’ll be the pleasant surprise that pulls them from crippling stress and anxiety. 

For those of you faced with a stressful time, let people help. Let them support you. Trust me, you need it and you’ll be grateful you did. In moments of stress and trauma, people show up for you in the most beautiful ways, you just have to let them.

Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be vulnerable enough to know what you need and ask for it. I’ve learned that asking for help is a strength, not a weakness. Be bold, be brave, and tell someone exactly what you need. Once they know, they’ll show up. 

Originally published on the author’s blog

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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Wife, mother, and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is married to the love of her life, Justin. She’s the mother to three beautiful and spunky children. She has a deep love of teaching and has always enjoyed helping inspire students. She is a Ball State graduate but an Indiana University Hoosier at heart. Chelsea’s mother always encouraged her to write. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. She decided to honor her mother's wishes and write. It was one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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