I think that many of us struggle with asking for help. Our society prides itself on extreme self-reliance. In reality, we are all heavily interdependent upon one another, whether or not we choose to openly acknowledge it.
In such an environmental setting, individuals who find themselves in need of extra help may especially struggle with feeling inadequate. Everyone requires additional assistance from time to time, regardless of who we are, or the relative position that we happen to hold in society.
Sometimes, we literally require a helping hand. No one moves a piano alone! Other times, we’re in need of a compassionate ear. We may find ourselves needing financial assistance, whether temporarily, or longer-term.
Most everyone has a finite pool of resources from which to draw. The daily demands of dealing with chronic illness heavily strain our pre-existing reservoir of resources.
Even if we possess excellent physical health, we don’t have endless supplies of time, energy, or money. Those who are dealing with continued medical challenges must be especially vigilant about guarding their time, their finances, and their limited amount of energy.
Energy vampires absolutely need to be eliminated. If you happen to be living with chronic illness, please don’t allow the myth of total self-sufficiency to rob your precious resources.
Permit yourself to ask for help. Yes, it’s certainly humbling to do so. That’s not such a bad thing, however. By asking for assistance, you provide someone else the opportunity to share their resources with you. This is often mutually beneficial.
I’ll freely admit that this issue has been very difficult for me. My long-term role as a health care provider has created unique challenges for being on the other side of the examination table. I remind myself, however of those words that I have told my patients, many times: “it’s a sign of strength to ask for help, not an indication of weakness.”
Think about the last time that you were on an airplane. You probably just tuned out the very astute message, “Secure your own mask, before assisting others.”