66) About Accepting Help

Last year I went on a trip abroad, got really sick and learned an important lesson. 

I had just arrived in a new place in northern Albania and was enjoying the silence, the beautiful views, and the peacefulness. My hosts were super kind, but we didn´t speak a common language, so we didn´t interact much. 

One day I got really sick and felt progressively so much worse during the day, that I felt I was losing my consciousness, which I have never felt before in my entire life. I was very hesitant to ask for help and didn´t really know what to do. The next hospital was far away and it was night. 

With my last energy, holding on to the side of the staircase, I went downstairs and told my hosts that I was feeling unwell and that I was not sure what to do. My host Fatmir offered right away to drive me to the hospital, which I was hesitant about. Fatmirs niece, who spoke English told me that it was ok to go to the hospital and that it was better than suffering so much and not feeling safe. As my energy was fading and I was feeling I might pass out, I accepted, and Fatmir drove me to the hospital. During the ride I was doing my best to stay conscious. Fatmir told me the next day, he thought I was dying in his car. When we arrived, I already had muscle spasms. 

Fatmir stayed with me in the hospital, and made sure I was taken care of, and we started talking. We didn´t have a common language, but Fatmir spoke Italian and I had Latin in school, so we spoke a mix of Italian and Latin. 

The next day, already feeling much better, but still super weak and back from the hospital, my neighbor knocked on my door. We had briefly met days before and we had a common language. He asked me, how on earth I did not contact him and that I should have asked for help earlier. 

He said we all needed help and that we can´t do this life on our own and that it was important that I learned to rely on others and ask for help when I needed it. While I was hesitant to ask for help and cause someone else an inconvenience, he was mad at me for not asking for help from him, when I had needed it. 

I am still immensely grateful for the kindness, help and care of Fatmir and his family. For all the wonderful discussions that followed the next days and the lesson of asking for and accepting help and kindness. 

It is still hard for me to ask for help, but I am learning that we all rely on one another and that asking for help takes courage, but that we don´t exist and don´t thrive without one another. For me it is peace when people can ask for help and find people who are willing to help. In the end, who are we without each other, without each other’s love, care, creativity, strength and community.