Debra-Lynn B. Hook: Learning to ask for help

Debra-Lynn B. Hook, Tribune News Service on

Published in Lifestyles

And yet: “I simply can’t do all this by myself,” I learned to tell myself. “I am lucky to have the resources.”

I will still and always be a helper, as it turns out. I continue to relish the moments when my children call on me for advice. I am grateful when my friends tell me their stories of triumphs and struggles. I love feeling human with them, sharing and discovering wisdom -- but only to the best of my energy in the moment, no longer to the depletion and detriment of self.

A few things worth mentioning:

People respond to others’ vulnerability. They can’t relate if you act like Mighty Mouse all the time.

When somebody asks, “What can I do?” be sure to think of something.


Asking for help is good for the planet. When you start asking for help, you will inadvertently embolden others to do the same. Pretty soon we’re all helping each other, which really is the natural order. “We’re all just walking each other home,” the late spiritual leader Ram Dass famously said.

Finally: People often tell me how strong I am.

“Thank you, but not without you,” I reply.

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