Help: Shifting it from Shame to Responsibility

What I’ve found is, that being a parent changes absolutely everything. I knew this at some level, but experiencing in it life is far different than acknowledging it on a logical level. I know, you’re probably like, “duh, Danny.” But hear me out.

You see, sometimes I get stuck, and maybe you do too? What I mean, is that I’ll know what I’m supposed to do next, but can’t get the one word out that lets others know I need help getting unstuck.


Sometimes, ok probably all of the time, that’s all I have to say and I’ll have a number of people by my side, ready to support me in what ways they can to help me get unstuck. But more times than not, asking for help feels too heavy to handle and hard to ask. But why does something so necessary to do, come with so much shame in our society?


Being a parent, I’m constantly helping another human being navigate this world without shaming them, without judging them for needing it, and by offering what skills and spoons I have to give them without expectations of repayment. And then I started wondering, what if we welcomed adults (or even older kids/teens) to this kind of help and support? The kind that is unconditional and comes without the shame and judgement threads this society together?

And then it hit me like a Wonder wrecking ball: I HAVE experienced this before and what it does, is save lives. I’ve found this support and freedom from the shame that is asking for help in the rooms of recovery. It was through getting sober in the rooms where I found the courage to ask for help, and as importantly, the faith to accept it.

Being a parent has taught me that even asking for help, looks differently. That now, I have a responsibility to ask for help before I get to my jumping off point. That I must humble myself enough to say one simple word, “help,” before the red flags become a dumpster fire. Now, I have this tiny human watching my every move, learning from me, exactly how to ask for help and how to take care of themselves when things get hard and their heart feels heavy. And because of this beautiful (and daunting) responsibility, I get to learn how to ask for help sooner, when I start feeling those red flags and before they are even noticeable to others while making sure to love myself all along the way.

Last week I was at my jumping point and couldn’t find the courage to ask for help until I was already in crisis. One thing that I’ve learned since, is that if I treat myself in the same ways I do Wilder when they need help, I would have asked immediately and not looked back, stuck in shame or guilt.

When I leaned into the friends who could answer my silent cry for help, what I found was a three day voluntary hospital stay waiting for me and a dear friend taking my baby and teaching them to sleep without me, through the night.


I needed help loooooong before I asked for it. I thought that when others who I trusted heard me screaming, they would come but sometimes others don’t know how to help unless we ask. I knew that I was at my breaking point for weeks before I finally broke, but because of shame, I couldn’t ask for the help I needed. My brain was telling me that because I was almost a year postpartum, I should be getting better not worse. I needed someone to tell me that it was ok to get help, that they too saw that I needed help. I needed someone to tell me that there was help for the thoughts  and feelings I was having, and others who were having them.

Being a parent doesn’t require me to put my own needs after my babies, in fact, that mindset is one that fuels the shame that (this) parent feels when needing to ask for help. In order to be the best (and safest) parent possible, I must first help myself sometimes (oftentimes). That doesn’t mean my babies needs will be unmet, but that does mean that I can lean into my village and ask for help in meeting those needs.


It’s ok to ask for help.

It’s ok if help means checking yourself into a hospital or treatment center. I did.

It’s ok if help looks like taking medication. I am.

It’s ok if help means changing the way you are parenting, even if it hurts your heart. I have.

It’s ok if help means lessening your load and rehoming an animal. I am.

It’s ok to ask for help no matter what or how that help looks.


Being a parent, I want to teach Wilder the security that comes from asking for help, not the shame. As a person and human being, I want to teach myself and then perhaps one day you all, the joy that comes from asking for help.

During my three day hospital stay, the only book I was able to get my hands on (besides a bible and no thank you) was one called, “I Will Not Die and Unlived Life,” and read it cover to cover in less then two days. It was the exact book my heart needed and had been years since I have had the time and focus to read an entire book, let alone one I didn’t want to put down. Even sitting in a hospital bed with others around me screaming, there was joy in being alive and the help I was receiving.


Being a parent changes absolutely everything, and in ways I never even thought to imagine until I was at my jumping off point. Asking for help is a courageous act of self-love, one I deeply want to model for Wilder. Here’s to learning both big and little ways to model asking for help to the tiny humans watching our every move. How are you going to model asking for help today?



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  1. Liz on November 19, 2021 at 6:04 am

    You are so strong and amazing!! Asking for help is such a brave thing to do. Wilder is surely proud of you now, even though their sweet baby self doesn’t have the words to express that right now, and will be proud of your authenticity, candor, and bravery for all of their life. Peace to you, Danny!

  2. Lilia Arce on November 19, 2021 at 6:37 am

    We love your story

  3. Laura on November 19, 2021 at 6:53 am

    So much love for this journey you are continuing to share. I am so glad you are learning about help and that, just now, you have found the help you needed at that moment. No shame at all in that.

  4. Morgan on November 19, 2021 at 8:35 am

    SO powerful, Danny! 🙌🏼 your words hit home. Asking for help is the last thing I usually want, even though it’s the very thing I NEED. Thank you for being vulnerable, it’s appreciated. 🤍

  5. Bobbi on November 19, 2021 at 8:42 am

    We are always here for you! Love u to the moon and back!!!

  6. Mia on November 19, 2021 at 3:28 pm

    So heartwarming to read this.
    We all need help, but as you say, it’s hard to ask for it.
    Thank you for sharing your life, and Wilders, with us.
    And take care..:…you are strong and you are worthy!!
    Much love from Sweden 💗

  7. Teresa A Swedman on November 19, 2021 at 6:07 pm

    Danny, I am so happy and proud that you have found a way to ask for help, know you need it and then follow through and get that help. you are facing and learning to adjust to a life that has been foreign, parenting is hard and much harder as a single parent. Dealing with post-partum depressions just makes it that much harder. You are being the Best version of yourself, and know there are people that will step up and help you, you just have to ask. Wilder is the luckiest baby to have you has papa! Blessings. Miss Teresa

  8. Jan Fries on November 20, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    When people say those feelings are normal, they are half right. It’s the intensity and consistency of the feelings that means you are in trouble. Being a single parent is far more intense than being a parent with a partner. I know, I have been there. Without a dear friend who allowed me to come to her house with my baby every day, I don’t think I would’ve made it. The hours and hours of solitude were some thing I was not prepared for. One day my 3 year old Was having a screaming fit and I couldn’t take it anymore. I picked him up and threw him on the bed none too gently. He kind of balanced against the wall a little, and it scared me. I picked up the phone and called child protective services and told them I needed help. I didn’t know whether or not they would take my child from me, but I knew I was in trouble. They sent the nicest woman out who talked with me And my child and decided I had a very intelligent boy who was way too entwined with his mom emotionally, causing him to have many meltdowns. She came once a week and gave me parenting lessons on how to stand up with love and consistency to my charming, willful, overly dependent, brilliant child. I knew I had to make it, Because I was the only person who could do it. If I gave my responsibility to someone else it wouldn’t work, because he needed me, not some willing stranger. That lovely woman helped me through it, and so did my family doctor and I now have a wonderful grown-up son that is my dear friend. Danny, this will be your future also. One day you will look at Grown-up Wilder and see a dearer friend than you could ever imagine. And you will see A much finer version of yourself than you ever knew existed. You were wise to seek the help you needed. This old grandma is very proud of you even though we’ve never met.

  9. Dianna on November 23, 2021 at 10:14 am

    I relate to this so much. The pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect parents without help is such bull. I have been slowly learning to accept help when offered. Asking for help is still hard. Thank you for getting the help you needed.

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