In Your Language

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

HELP is a four letter word

Robin Williams Checks into Rehab

(click link to view source)

[ This post is in no means an effort to judge Robin Williams. I consider him a gifted actor who needs help like anyone else. I thought I'd write about it since he's probably entered your mind recently. My admiration and blessing goes to him for being proactive with his struggle with addiction. When I am a Social Worker, I will be helping people with a range of challenges, alcoholism being one of them. ]

 HELP is a Four Letter Word

But I, and Robin Williams, don't want you to treat it as such. It doesn't involve violence. It gives rise to an opportunity to improve and to allow someone the honor of stepping into the "gap." It's acknowledging the limits of our personal skills and abilities. We were made with deficits that others could fill in for us in the context of relationship or a helping relationship. In turn, we also have skills that can plug into the deficits of other people. It is the basest reason for why we need each other. We lack and are skilled in different areas. I'm envisioning interlocking puzzle pieces.

The Self:

As noted in the image (with source link), the first step to getting help is facing the fact that we can't do everything on our own. We also have to admit that sometimes our efforts, skills, and creativity are not sufficient for the level of the problem at hand. If we could do everything on our own, we would not need other people. The world would look totally different and would operate differently as well. 

The Bystander:

As much as humans are connected, there is a lack of interpersonal intuition. People generally don't "offer" help. They are usually waiting for an invitation or unaware. Perhaps they've tried to help in the past and we brushed off the offer. The bystander doesn't want to look like they are belittling or judging the person for needing help. They are in a difficult situation.

When People Fail as Helpers:

Sometimes the most well meaning people show up to help and still miss the mark. It's a tragedy of ineffective intentions. There are barriers to helping in both directions. Through the history of Social Work, the experts have found that helping people towards their goals is much more successful than trying to help people with goals imposed on them, as wonderful and well meaning as they may be.

Then What?

I was proud of Robin Williams for checking himself into rehab. It is a outstanding show of submitting to others for help. He humbled himself to people that he knows can help him for at least part of his struggles. Furthermore, as I was about to dismiss this last line in the ABC news article as a repeat of the first quotations, I noticed he mentioned God's role in his rehabilitation. 

In the Al-Anon books, they refer to God or a "Higher Power." The program is not necessarily requiring that the person has to be Christian or believe in God. But, the person would benefit from realizing that there is some power out there that is larger and outside of humanity that can fill in the margins of our crises.


I find that when I put others in charge of fixing me, it puts undue stress on the relationship. Now that I assign that role to God, it releases my fellow man from such an impossible task. It puts me in the mindset to refrain from blaming others for my misery or hardships. It allows me to see others not as "life fixing gods" but people who also need help and reciprocation.

Anyways, I am delighted to see Robin Williams in the press for healthy and proactive behavior. I release him from having to be perfect to the public eye. I pray for his ongoing recovery. I celebrate his resilient spirit. I could learn from him, despite the fact that he has a challenge that I don't have (for the grace of God).

And, I would like to emphasize that Robin Williams said to keep fighting the good addiction fight day after day. We could apply that to any ongoing personality or physical challenge. Just take it day by day. Release ourselves to be imperfect while striving to do life right. 

 What is your favorite Robin Williams movie? Dead Poets Society? Good Morning Vietnam? Patch Adams? How did my post strike your mind today? Was it a match or a mallet? Blessings to you~

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