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The Importance of Asking for Help

My family had one of the scariest days ever yesterday. We learned a very important lesson along the way that I can’t wait to share with you. What I’m finding, as I journey through this crazy thing called life... Is that the hardest days sometimes bring the most enlightenment.

A Lost Pet

My son’s beloved Sphynx cat, Eli, snuck out of the house yesterday and got himself lost. Yes, this is the very same sphynx cat that I almost killed a few winters ago (accidentally, of course). If you haven’t read that article yet, you can find it here: How My Failing Eyes Almost Killed My Son’s Cat.

Eli is no normal cat. For starters, he’s completely naked. He is gray and has giant ears and eyes, so he basically looks like a small alien. Besides the way he looks, he is special in the role that he plays in our family. Eli is a trained and registered emotional support animal (or an ESA). He and my youngest son are inseparable, and my son often relies upon this special kitty for comfort when he’s feeling nervous or anxious.

Recent trauma

Our family has recently been through a lot of trauma. My husband and children’s father passed away last year suddenly and tragically. Needless to say, this emotional support cat is imperative to the mental health of my son - and he was lost.

Feeling desperate

As soon as I realized he was missing, I started to panic, knowing just how devastated my son would be at this loss. In the past, I generally just kept my needs to myself and rarely asked for help. What I’m learning is that there are so many reasons why people do this, such as: Not wanting to feel like a burden, having an ‘I can do this myself’ kind of mentality, desiring independence, feeling too vulnerable to ask for assistance, damaging past experiences, feeling afraid of being let down... The list goes on and on.

Reaching out even when it feels hard

Feeling completely desperate, I decided to write a ‘please help me’ type post to my private Facebook page as well as our small town’s community page.

Immediately, my posts sort of ‘blew up’ and were shared hundreds of times. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, if I’m being honest. Friends started sharing, and then people I don’t know started sharing, as well as some of the local humane societies and pet rescue establishments.

Our entire community pulled together in no time at all to search for our missing cat. I started seeing people out walking, riding bikes, and driving around looking for Eli. Friends and family who don’t even live in our town started showing up, knowing how much my son needs his sweet kitty.

Lessons learned

Here’s the deal, I’ve spent a lot of time in my life sitting in silence and suffering. Whether it was because my eyes were failing me, or because my husband was suffering and dying, or because I needed help with something ‘small’ like finding a lost cat, it just felt safer to go it alone.

Through a lot of healing, hard work in therapy, working with others, and a lot of evolution of self, I’ve realized just how detrimental ‘going it alone’ was to my own well-being. You see, everyone needs people; everyone needs help. If you think about it hard enough, isn’t that what life is all about?

You are never alone

Losing our vision, there will no doubt be times where we will need to ask for help. Maybe we will need to ask another person something to gain knowledge, ask our doctors for advice, or as a friend or family member for a ride to the store or to an appointment... We will all need help.

I promise you, people want to help, and you are never a burden.

There are so many lessons to be learned in this life if we are just willing to notice them and allow them in. Someone is always willing to step in and help. If you don’t live in a small town like I do where everyone cares about each other, or if your family isn’t willing or able to help, keep looking.

Friends can be like family. I care about you and am always here, willing to help, and I know with certainty that there are other friends in our amazing community here at www.maculardegeneration.net that want to help as well.

You are never alone,
Andrea Junge

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