Over the years some things have become easier. I’ve learned to live within my boundaries (most days), I’m used to the way I feel and have learned to cope with it, and I’ve adjusted to life in the ‘slower than slow’ lane.
One thing that never gets easier no matter how hard I try, is asking for help. Oh how I hate it. It comes down to two reasons – I hate imposing on people and I hate feeling useless and not able to give help back. My husband despairs with me when he sees me struggling to do something. He can’t grasp why I haven’t asked for his help when he’s able and willing. I just can’t bear to ask him. I see a busy man working full time, studying, caring for me and our boys and I don’t want to add to that.
Asking other people for help is so much harder. I go through each persons name in my head, then rule each one out thinking of all the demands on their time already and how I can’t possibly ask them. The thing is, a lot of the time I ask people for help they jump at the chance. They have known I struggle and yet not known how to help. My asking them gives them an opportunity.
If people offer help without me asking it feels like the hardest thing in the world to accept. I naturally want to say ‘no no, I’m ok thanks’ and most often I do, I then think of how hard it’s going to be to do it myself. It’s my pride that stops me. I want to be fit, able and self sufficient. I want to be the one offering help, not receiving it.
Asking for and accepting help are big struggles for me, but I believe learning how to do these things are important life lessons. Before I became ill I valued confidence and self sufficiency. I still do place high value on these traits, but I see that needing help and humbling myself to accept it strengthens my relationships with the people who help me. I see the sacrifices they willingly make for me and feel of their love and kindness. My own self worth increases as I see people willing to help me. I read this quote from Carlos H. Amado encouraging people to help one another and I think the benefits he talks of work for both the helper and the ‘helpee’. He said “Kindness, love, patience, understanding and unity will increase as we serve, while intolerance, jealousy, envy, greed and selfishness will decrease or disappear. The more we give of ourselves, the more our capacity to serve, understand, and love will grow.”
So it’s going to be worth my while to work hard at being comfortable receiving help. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be the one in the giving end once more… Only this time I’ll have much more empathy!
For this blog and more (creativity, inspiration, healthy recipes) check out my website www.mecuperate.co.uk