When You Can’t See Normal From Where You Are

The hotel was not quite as air-conditioned as the website suggested.  As in, it was not air-conditioned at all, but there was a large window that could be opened.  Even at 2 o’clock in the morning it was in the 90’s with 90% humidity.  I could not sleep and I was pissed off about it.

I really believe that I am only as miserable as I choose to be when I lie awake in the night, even if I am lying naked on a narrow bed, covered in wet hotel towels the size of dishrags, trying to cool down enough to sleep.  So I got up and went over to lean on the window sill, hoping to distract myself from the pity party I was throwing in my head.

Outside my window (aka air conditioner) was a spectacular sight – the moon was nearly full and it lit up the olive trees, turning the leaves silver and casting dreamy shadows on the ground below.  Past the olive trees, I could see the water sparkling across the horizon.  This is where I’m supposed to say that I had a moment of bliss and was able to quiet my mind enough to sleep.  What actually went through my mind was, “I cannot believe that not even one damn leaf is moving.”  And then I decided to take a Benadryl so I could get some sleep, because I had been looking forward to this vacation for too long for me to spend it as Momma Crankypants and I really don’t function well without sleep.  And THEN I enjoyed the view for a few moments before the meds kicked in.

I believe in asking for help (and like exercise – I don’t always do it, but I believe in it).  When I “power through” and “suck it up” all by myself, I often put myself through so much more pain and misery then I need to be in (not to mention making my kids put up with Momma Crankypants).  Asking for help can be embarrassing, it takes a huge amount of courage.  Particularly when we attach our pride to our ability to take care of ourselves, without help.

I have had so many clients tell me of sleepless nights, of endless hours of crying and being in such a state of upset that they cannot function.  When I ask if they have talked to their doctor, they tell me they don’t have the time or the money or that it’s not serious enough to bother the doctor with.  When you are making decisions that may impact the rest of your life, you need your mind and body to be functioning and whole.  When you are a parent, your kids need you to be functioning and whole.  Your employer needs you to be functioning and whole.  Heck, as a fellow driver on the freeway, I’d really like you to be functioning and whole.  There are going to be times when you can’t see the path to normal, that’s when it’s time to be brave enough to ask for help.

Over the years, I’ve learned to casually mention that many, many of my clients need temporary medical help to get through the early days of a divorce.  For some that help is therapy alone, and for others, the therapy is combined with medication.  And then I see their faces relax, because they are relieved and it is not shameful or ridiculous or silly to need help.  It’s okay to get help and you are not alone.



  1. So very wise, Keri. After years of battling with a health problem, I bluntly told my doctor that I had anxiety and asked for medication. That made a world of difference in my life; I was able to travel again and do the things in my community that i’d always enjoyed doing. I applaud you for letting people know it’s OK to ask for help!

    • The world is a better place with you out in the community doing all the great work you do, I’m so glad you had the courage to ask for medication.

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