Day 9: Here is where I ask for Help


Yesterday I sat there in her airy office, on the overstuffed yellow char, bringing her up to speed on my story and how I feel about it.

“And then she was hit by a train, and then she found him gone and then she took her life on the tracks… and here I am.”

I hate this part of getting acquainted, watching people’s faces when I lay it all out for them. I want to hug them and tell them how totally okay I am with it, but lately?  I’m not sure of that anymore.

That’s why yesterday I trudged through the gorgeous streets of downtown, past perfect shop windows, a street juggler and pigtailed children with frozen yogurt, past a gorgeous display of the good life and up the stairs to the office of a new therapist.

Why?  Because I need help with my junk.

I need perspective and guidance and I can’t do it alone.  As we approach the third anniversary of my mother’s death I’m starting to realize that I have survived a lot and I’m weary.  

I have spent the last ten years in a battle of survival and perseverance, in an attempt to overcome odds and live a healthy life.

And for some reason, all the baggage I thought I had neatly tucked away on shelves is falling down around me.  I thought I was okay, that I’d moved past it all, but moving home, driving over those train tracks again and again has brought things back to the surface.

I don’t want to survive this life anymore, I want to lose a thousand pounds of baggage and feel free to quiet the voices of anger, jealous sadness.

I want to love and thrive and feel lighter than I now, with all the bags cluttering the forefront of my mind.

So I’m going to therapy because the old mantra for living and writing and story telling doesn’t fit anymore.

“Journeying with those hurting, healing and choosing joy” was good for a while but can I be honest?  I’ve been a crappy joy-chooser of late… and I just don’t know anymore.

I think the new thing might be something like: Wavering Hope Ambassador.

Because I believe in hope, I want to inspire heavy hearts that it’s possible no matter what, but also…. sometimes I suck at it… and you need to know that.

So here is where I ask for help
Here is where I waver in hopes of something better
And here is still lovely, asking for help is brave and I hope that if you need help you will seek it out fiercely.

Our lives are worth fighting for and wavering is okay.


I’m linking up with The Nester and writing on this topic for all #31days of October
I’ll keep this page updated every day as I move through what it means to be “here”

  • Addie Zierman

    Love this Leanne. “Wavering Hope Ambassador.” That is beautiful. And THERAPY is beautiful. So glad to see you taking these new steps toward healing. xoxo

    • Leanne Penny

      Thanks Addie. All the thanks.

  • Michelle Woodman

    Sometimes we need to be allowed to sit, to have others give *us* encouragement and hope and (or?) simply a listening ear and a comforting shoulder to lean against when we’re weary.

    When my husband was going through chemotherapy 5 years ago, I thought I had to carry *so much*, until one day I just *couldn’t* anymore. And that day I found tremendous encouragement from others and it helped me to keep moving on and to not insists on doing it (as one of my nieces used to say when she was a toddler) “All my by self.”

    • Leanne Penny

      Oh “All by myself” is the worst leftover from the Toddler years, isn’t it? As if we were ever designed to do it that way?

  • Judy Root VanderWerf

    Praying for you, my friend and ambassador … Wavering or not.
    Judy VW

  • Mark Allman

    I wonder if we ever get rid of our “baggage”? I think it is weaved into our lives such that it is always there. Hopefully we get better at toting it or leaving it in the closet or really just realizing it is with us no matter. When my father committed suicide my sister Mimi said that “we sorrow with hope”. I still do; I probably always will. Somethings I think we will never get over and I am ok with that. I honestly don’t ever want to “get over” someone I love dearly. It can be tough to choose joy when those bags fall open; so when they do at times I try to just look through them and let those memories wash over me believing I’ll make it through again. I wish I knew what to say to help Leanne but I don’t. I know when the baggage of my life starts falling on my head that I do feel each hit but my hope is that I’ll be able to do things in this life that will bless others and help them carry their luggage as we come along side each other. I wish I could carry a bag for you. For in your wavering you do give hope Leanne. Thank you.

    • Leanne Penny

      Thanks Mark, I hope that the baggage goes away, or gets smaller and lighter. I believe it’s different than our Story, my story will never change, well not the backstory at least, but moving forward I want it to weigh less if possible.

  • Lisa Colon DeLay

    amen sister!

    • Leanne Penny

      You’re the best. I so appreciate your encouraging heart.

  • Brenda W.

    I appreciate this so much. It’s been three years since my own loss/crisis, and my hope and endurance aren’t what they used to be either. I also started seeing a new counselor recently, and she told me that the spiritual fallout from trauma – the really deep, almost unanswerable stuff – is the last and hardest thing we work through. It was the first time in a year that I dared to hope I might not have to carry this heavy weight for the rest of my life. Thanks for being honest and reminding me that we’re all on the journey together.

    • Leanne Penny

      That’s a great theory, that the worst stuff comes at the end, I really find hope in that concept too. Thank you for being on the journey with me and reminding me of how universal this struggle truly is.

  • Jo Inglis

    Hit the same buffers (different reasons), perhaps it was prophetic that I had the Liverpool Luggage sculpture as a cover photo on facebook for a while recently
    This, good to read, thanks Leanne

  • Stacy A

    Your honesty and your willingness to accept that you need help is just awesome. Exactly what all of us need to do from time to time, and exactly what people need to see as an example. Jesus doesn’t expect us to just hold our heads up all the time and keep a stiff upper lip. Sometimes we crumble. That’s okay. That’s why we need him. Praying for you, Leanne!