I have always been a rather independent female.
Okay, that is a nice way of saying that I am stubborn.
The phrase ~ “I can do it myself!” has left my mouth on more than one occasion.
I have always offered help to others and reminded them again and again to ask for help if they need it.
I have accepted the fact that every day will be different.
I will not know the level of pain or energy that I will have day to day let alone hour by hour.
The other day at home I was in a flare.
Sitting in my chair watching TV and instead of getting up for a glass of water,
Later, I heard myself again asking
“Could you get me an ice-pack?”
After the third time I thought how much I hated hearing myself ask those questions.
“Can you help me a minute?”
“Will you do me a favor?” “Would you get me…?”
At work recently, I noticed that I had asked someone to slow down when giving me credit card numbers.
My brain doesn’t process things as fast as it once did.
In order to file in my bottom file drawers at work I need to sit on the ground. It hurts too much to bend over for the amount of time it takes. So, when I sit down on the floor I need to be sure I have a hard chair next to me or else, I need to ask someone for an arm.
It bothers me enough that I have to wait until I see someone free and ask for the help but I also need to teach them how to do it. The arm needs to be extended out and held stiff so that I can lay my arm on top of it and use it to push myself up.
How does one learn to ask for help?
We start out as infants needing someone to do everything for us. Almost immediately they begin teaching us to be independent. I remember how proud I was when my Daughter could feed herself, take her first steps, tie her own shoes. I have been told that parents love it when their children can drive and take themselves places. I can’t imagine I will ever be happy about that I love our time spent going from place to place we have the best conversations.
It doesn’t take long for the phrase to come out of a childs mouth “I can do it”. Teen years arrive and there is no way we want anyone to see us with our parents helping us. We want to do everything by ourselves.
“You can do anything, but not everything.” —David Allen
I have worked at nursing homes and have had plenty of aging relatives to know what happens. As we age, we revert back to the start of our lives. After spending our entire lives to be independent, we have to swallow our pride and allow others, sometimes complete strangers do things for us as personal as getting dressed, eating and using the bathroom.
“The strong individual is the one who asks for help when he needs it.”- Rona Barrett, columnist and businesswoman.
We don’t think that at 40, 30, 20 years of age we will be needing to ask someone to help them get us out of a chair, lift something from the shelf at the grocery store, help position us (with heathing pads, ice packs, pillows) correctly to go to sleep, helps us remember to take our medication and the list goes on and on…..
“Asking for help does not mean that we are weak or incompetent.
It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence.”-Anne Wilson Schaef
I think this quote really explains it. We have to be honest with ourselves. It takes strength to ask for help. We can’t do this alone. It really does ultimitately come down to our own inner strength but we also have to be strong enough to know when we need to ask for help emotionally and physically.