Wow. Sitting here at a computer, writing for the Academy again. It feels: surreal. Amazing. And also completely terrifying. The words don’t come as easy as they once did, yet this is the very moment I have been fighting to get back to for the past year. See, this past year I was fighting a cancer which, up until a month or so ago, I was told was terminal. It’s why I disappeared from the Academy. And from life in general. I had accepted that terminal meant there was no reason to ask for help, and that my life would never be what it once was ever again. But here I am, typing an article for the Academy, with doctors declaring that I am maybe a week or so away from full remission.
So what changed? I did. I stopped thinking just because I was submissive, that I had to still keep everything together, give to everyone else, and fight cancer head on all by my lonesome. I stopped believing the lie that a title in the lifestyle meant I wasn’t allowed to not be okay. I stopped pretending that everything was okay, and I finally asked for help. Sometimes that meant asking for patience, or finally telling people about the illness I was facing. Heck, it even took me months to let Master Bishop know why this quick typer couldn’t even reply to an email.
And how many of us are in places like that. Where we are still wearing the mask we think we are supposed to wear because we are the Head of Household, or the Dom, or the little, or the slave, or the parent, or the older sibling. And roleplaying to everyone that you are okay, when your body, mind, and soul are crying out for help, that’s not a role play that is fun for very long. Nor should your role, whether in kink or in vanilla life, make you feel like you are undeserving of the help you need. Because you deserve support, love, and care, just like you give everyone else.
But to accept the love and help others want to give you, you must first acknowledge you need AND deserve it. Then you can ask for it, with a heart that is ready to accept the overflowing love and help.
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“I think I might need some help. I can’t do this on my own.”
I know. It’s a hard statement to accept. That you don’t have it all together. That you never were meant to have it all together. And that that’s what makes you human. And that it’s okay to need help sometimes. I remember coming face to face with the reality I had cancer, which meant I was not capable of thing I once could do. I just, wasn’t. And I could keep pretending like nothing was wrong and like I had the same energy I always did, or I could accept that, just like I tell my friends it’s okay to ask for help, it’s perfectly okay for me to ask for help as well. I can hang up my Superwoman cape for another day, and today, just be Ann who needs help getting all the chores done.
I mean at the height of my body trying to survive cancer, I was still trying to maintain a full-time job, being a domestic servant for my Sir, and put on a put together face for the world. Because I thought that was the right thing to do. But the whole time I was destroying myself. Mentally, emotionally, and physically. And every day I grew more and more distant from the people I loved, who I was trying to keep it altogether for. Because I didn’t even have the energy to love anymore. Because I was trying to take on all the curveballs the world was throwing at me, by myself. Just so the people I loved who loved me, didn’t have to see that sometimes I didn’t have it all together, and sometimes I felt weak. Because I didn’t want to let them down.
But here is the craziest part of that whole thing. That mental trap many of us get into. The moment I finally broke down and told my Sir and my roommate I needed help. They cried. Because they had been waiting for me to let them help me the whole time. But any time they tried, I got mad. Because I hadn’t yet accepted that it’s okay, to not be okay all the time. And I hadn’t given myself permission, to not be perfect.
Now, in my case, I needed help because of the cancer cells taking over my body. But you don’t have to be sick, or even tired, to be worthy of help. Here, do a quick exercise for me. Think back over this past week.
- Were there any times someone offered to help you, and you wouldn’t let them? If you take yourself back to that moment, was there a part of you that could have benefited from their help? Most likely, that person loves and cares for you so much, they recognized your need before you did.
- Were there any times you felt overwhelmed, stressed out, or exhausted and wished someone could have helped you? What kept you from asking someone? And how amazing would it have been to spend time with that person working together on whatever you needed to get done, instead of doing it alone?
And that is just in a single week, based on what you can remember right now. But the fact you can look back and accept that things may have been better if you had accepted or asked for help from someone; that right there is what gets you the gates to the city of un-stuck town. Because now you see that asking for or accepting help is good, and that it isn’t a burden on others. It is something they want to do. Because they love you. And help is something you deserve to ask for and accept, because you are allowing others to love you, and you are being loving to yourself.
The Task of Asking
I wish I could say all you had to do was accept that help is a good thing, and the rainbows, unicorns, and blue jays would come floating down on clouds of cotton candy. But we aren’t quite there yet. Though, accepting you are worthy of help from others is actually the hardest part for most. Now it’s just about identifying what you need help with, and asking for it.
A lot of the time, the need for help just comes up in that moment. Because it’s a hectic day, or because you don’t feel good, or just because. And there is no telling when it will happen. But I’m going to ask you to do what my Sir asked of me, which led me to find happiness, and myself, again. Obviously, you can say no, but when you are ready, I want you to identify three things that it seems difficult for you to get around to doing every week.
It could be that you just can’t find the time for it because of other priorities. For example, one of my items was getting our sheets done every week. Without fail, come Sunday evening right when my head was about to hit the pillow, I would realize I hadn’t done my weekly task of washing the linens. I wasn’t disciplined for it, but the frustration was eating away at me.
Or it might be something you don’t like doing, or that has gotten more difficult for you to do. For example, my war with the trash can when it’s time to bring it in on trash days. Getting it out to the curb, not problem. But me and that dear old trash bin have exchanged some words trying to get him wheeled back to the house. So that was another little to-do I knew would save me so much frustration to not have to deal with.
And my final little to-do, was something I had to do myself (it had to do with submitting a food diary to the doctor each week), but somehow I just couldn’t get it set into my routine. I knew I just needed my Sir to remind me to do it on Fridays but, you guessed it, I had never asked.
Whatever your three things are, no matter how big or small they seem, just identify three to-dos that push your frustration button and write them down on a piece of paper. Because those little frustration triggers, are about to be the very things your friends are going to help fade away. Because those are the three things I challenge you to identify someone to help you with. And then, I dare you to go ask them and see what happens.
All joking aside. The freedom you will feel, and the joy you will see on your loved ones face because you let them help you. Trust me, it’s amazing. If you are like me and you need to build up the courage to ask for help, you can do what I did. I wrote down the person I was going to ask for help with that to-do, and the help I was going to ask them for. Plus….it was written down and all official looking, so I told them it was for therapeutic benefit, just in case they needed motivation to help (though none did).
So how did my task of asking for help go?
- My Sir and I agreed we would do the sheets together on Sunday mornings after we finished our morning cup of coffee (yes, we are one of those couples who drinks coffee while sitting in bed, and yes, I am going to add that to my fetish list). And it became normal for us, and something I looked forward to. Especially the lovely puzzle of how in the world you figure out which way the fitted sheet goes.
- My roommate offered to bring the trash can in when he got home from work. In fact he chuckled when I asked him for help with that, because he told me he would have helped anyway, I just needed to ask (be prepared to hear that response a lot).
- And as for the food diary, well I still miss a few weeks here and there, but I have two alarms set on my phone as reminders, and my Sir has one set on his as well. And…as was the case last week…if I forget, me and the torture that is a corner, get very very comfortable. (P.S., it’s Friday right now and I sent the food diary in a whole hour early this week).
And just like that. I began to see it wasn’t the fact I needed help that had led to my frustrations. It was the fact I hadn’t asked for my needs to be met. I hadn’t asked for help. And there are still times I push myself too much, and I still let out a little grunt when my Sir tells me to go rest because I look tired. But I no longer am a slave to the perfect Superwoman cape I was forcing myself to wear. And I no longer equate being a submissive, with the need to be perfect. And losing those chains, has made all the difference.
Now, It’s Your Turn
That’s right. The ball is in your court now. Once you get your three frustrating to-do’s written down and identify the people you want to help you with them. It’s time for you to ask for the help you need, and prepare for the transformation receiving that help will bring. See, asking for help doesn’t seem like such a bad thing anymore. Does it? Now take that grin I can feel building, and go ask those people you love for the help they probably can’t wait to give you. And know, that any time something feels overwhelming. You don’t have to wait to write it down, you can ask for help right then, in that moment. Because you will already know the goodness that comes from not being able to do it all yourself. Because that area where you can’t get it all done, is exactly where the person you love can fit right into your life, to be the missing piece of your happily ever after.
By Bratty Ann
Bratty Ann has been in the Dominant/submissive lifestyle for 4 years serving as a slave, a pet, a submissive, and, of course, a brat. She has developed a deep passion for the lifestyle and for educating others on keeping it safe, sane, and consensual. Her favorite topics to educate on include domestic discipline, taming brats, and mental health in BDSM.
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