When I’ve told my son that something is difficult, or I’m not sure how to deal with a challenge I’m facing, he simply states, “Why don’t you ask______ for help?”
I’m not sure why that isn’t the first thing that comes to my mind when I have a problem, but I’m certainly glad that my son has that “asking for help” skill set I find hard to come by.
This week I found myself in the position where I didn’t have a choice but to ask for help. I certainly tried to avoid it, but sometimes MS and I don’t see eye-to-eye.
One of the lovely challenges of living with MS is having acute flare-ups of symptoms with heat. These exacerbations of symptoms aren’t long-lasting, and typically subside soon after the body returns to a normal temperature, but they can temporarily sideline a person in the interim.
It’d seem I’d be in the clear since it’s December and no where near hot outside.
I woke up early Monday with a fever and when I tried to take the dog outside, I found myself unable to get myself out of bed with leg weakness. I had to wait until it was a decent hour to reach out and say, “Help, please. I think I’m kinda stuck.”
Then I found myself having to ask for even more help picking my daughter up from the airport for the holidays. Asking for help twice in two days was stretching my comfort zone!
MS doesn’t get the better of me often, but when it does, it still hasn’t gotten any easier to admit that I can’t do it all on my own.
Despite that admission that I am not able to do anything and everything on my own, I’ve had conversations with my closest friends trying to figure out how to balance life more on my own. I don’t ever want my children to feel limited with how far they can go, worried they need to stick around or stay close to help take care of me and the unpredictable challenges MS throws at me. My biggest fear is that they would not dream their biggest dreams because of my chronic illness.
In the past, I’ve had a tendency to try to micromanage every detail of life that was in my grasp because life can feel so out of control with the unpredictability of living with MS.
Along the way, I’ve learned a few things:
I can’t control everything, even the little stuff that I do think is in my grasp. It’s simply exhausting.
Asking for help is hard, but necessary.
MS is a challenge I need to work with, not pretend doesn’t exist.
And I often forget this one. It’s a little blunt advice from a friend:
“Other people like a chance to give and help, too.”
That leaves one other little thing I know absolutely:
I never have to face life alone because I have some wonderful friends and family supporting me along the way.
Do you struggle to ask for help when you need it, or is it easy for you to remember that others are more than willing to help?