Friday, June 1, 2012

The Q & A of Helping

Maybe I should say "The Q of Helping" instead of "The Q & A of Helping" because I have more questions than I have answers.

I suppose you're wondering what I mean by "helping".  Well, let me explain...

I have now been sick for 2 years and 4 months.  For the first 6 months of being sick most people didn't realize how sick I was.  I also wasn't near as disabled as I am now.  Well, then again, yes, I was.  I think I just didn't admit it to myself or anyone else.  Once people realized how serious my condition is (which took some people over a year and there's others who still seem like they don't have a clue), they started helping us out here and there.  I can't say there was an overwhelming flood of support.  It's never been anything close to that.  However, my parents starting cluing others in to the fact that we could use some help with meals, finances, laundry, house cleaning, running errands, etc.   I finally started setting my stubbornness aside after being sick for almost a year and asking for help myself.  That took a LOT out of me.

So for about a year and a half now my wonderful husband and I have been asking for help from family and friends with various things here and there.   We receive more help than we ask for because both of us have difficulty asking.  Luckily we had people, primarily my parents, offer to help here and there when we didn't ask for it.

After awhile the offers for help slowly went away.  We have also slowly decreased the amount that we ask for help.  So here's where the questions come in....

Since this is a chronic, life-long illness, are we supposed to figure out how to live without the help and support of our family and friends?
If so, how long do I have to be sick before I'm supposed to know how to do it without support?
What makes 6 months ago or a year ago different from now?
If I'm just as sick now (or in a couple of months since this thing can be such a roller coaster) as I was a year ago, why is there a ton of support from family and friends then but not now?
Am I bad for still asking for help?
Was I supposed to stop asking at some point in time?  Once again.. when?  When do the etiquette books say is the appropriate time to start taking care of yourself and your family when your seriously ill?  Oh, wait, that's probably not in the etiquette books, is it?

On another note... Why do I have to feel so bad about asking for help?
How many times should I hear "no" before I stop asking that particular person?  If they're never able to help,  should I still ask even if I know what the answer is going to be?

I don't WANT to ask for help!  I HATE asking for help.  That's the last thing I want to do.  I would MUCH rather just do it myself, but I CAN'T!!!  I'd much rather have my husband do it, but he can't do everything all the time.  There are some things that we could not ask for help with because it's not a necessity.  However, I want the best for my kids, even if I am sick.  Doesn't everyone?  Why do my kids have to sacrifice because I'M sick.  They're not the ones who're sick.

Sometimes I just want to give up... like now.  I'm tired of asking for help when I know people don't want to do it.  I'm tired of having to ask people over and over again to only hear that they're too busy or can't help for whatever other reason when some of the time I know it's just because they don't want to.

My husband and I have both said that we just want to say "screw it!" and do everything on our own.  If that means me taking care of my 5 year old daughter by myself when I'm not feeling well, then so be it.  The one and only reason why we don't want to do that is because that means our daughters would have to deal with the consequences. (less or no extra-curricular activities, taking care of me more often, etc.)

In the end, we won't stop asking for help because we want the best for our daughters.  However, it sure would make life easier if we didn't have to.

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