This is something that I have been meaning to write about for a long time, now. I’ve written a lot about the various ways that chronic illness strips you of the person that you once were. But one thing that I have noticed in nearly every person that I have met with a chronic illness, is that they seem to be very strong-willed and set in their ways. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
But the fact of the matter is that chronic illness screws with us in every way possible. If chronic pain were a person, I believe that it would derive much pleasure out of stripping away the pieces of our being. But, I digress. Being strong willed is an admirable quality to have. But there does come a time when we have to admit we need help along the way.
Note: This is not a sign of weakness, nor is it an admittance of defeat. It is simply asking for help, and contrary to what anyone else says or thinks, there is nothing wrong with asking for a little help from time to time when you may need it.
As some of you know, my step dad was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in November 2013, and just recently passed this past summer. However, before that, when I was twelve years old, my biological father passed away from complications due to AIDS and Hepatitis C. Let me tell you something, watching your father, who was a strapping man at 250 pounds, go down to 90 pounds by the time he passed, is hard. My father was also very bullheaded. Which explains exactly where I got that quality from.
He rarely ever asked for help. It was the same exact situation with my step-dad. He wasgetting it taken care of. But he was an incredibly strong willed person, whom I will always admire. He was a beautiful and gentle soul who has always taken care of those around him, never giving a second thought about himself. But now with the cancer, he needed help even doing the simplest things, and I can see how much that it ate at him. He wanted to take care of us, not the other way around.
It’s the same for anyone living with a chronic illness. Our illnesses have taken away our abilities to perform even the simplest of tasks at times, and that can make life challenging for us at times. That is why it is imperative that we learn to ask for help. If someone is offering to help you, accept it. If you are having a good day and truly don’t need the help, than you are not obligated to accept it. But if you are experiencing a rough patch, and you really are in need of help, do not think you are weak if you accept the help. Every person at one time or another in their lives have asked someone else for help, whether they care to admit it or not.