You Have Fibro, Now What? Accepting Help From Others

I received  a lot of positive feedback from an article I wrote title You Think You have Fibromyalgia, What Should You Do?  Readers also asked questions all pointing to one clear question: Now that I have fibromyalgia, what should I do? I am going to answer that  question in a ten part series called You Have Fibro, Now What?  This part of the series is about accepting help from others.

Accepting help from others when you have fibromyalgia #fibromyalgia

[bctt tweet=”Learning to accept #help with #fibromyalgia. #chronicillness #spooniebloggers”]

One of the most daunting parts of fibromyalgia was accepting help from others. With a type A personality, drive to organize, and the urge to do everything all at once, it was a challenging task to learn how to let go and accept help.

When I was first diagnosed and learning how to live with my new illness, I found myself turning down help when I needed it. My husband would help with the cleaning when he came home from work, and I took it as a way of him saying I couldn’t keep the house clean. I interpreted it as a jab at my condition when in reality he was only helping.

As a result of turning down his help, I experienced more flare days instead of easing my pain. When I should have been letting my body heal by listening to the painful signals, I pushed through the pain. Pushing my body beyond that threshold resulted in further damage.

It’s difficult to swallow the fact that you cannot do it all on your own with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia targets the muscles and overwhelms the body with a constant fatigue. The activities and tasks our bodies were once able to do, now takes time or assistance. What use to take one day to clean the entire house now takes the entire week.

My daughter, Abby, watering the flowers for me.
My daughter, Abby, watering the flowers for me.

Vacuuming, laundry, and other chores cannot be done on the same day. One load of laundry is done each day Mondays through Fridays. Vacuuming is on the weekends because that’s when my husband can do it. Bathrooms are cleaned on a separate day than the dusting. My husband sweeps and mops on the weekends as well gives our younger children their baths. 

These are the few ways my husband helps me. It helps me because he loves, cares, and supports me. If didn’t care about my well being, he wouldn’t offer his help.

Gone are the days where organizing projects take one day to complete. Elaborate meals have been replaced with healthy, practical meals. The family no longer relies on me for day to day needs, but rather relies on each other in addition to me. My children are learning how to help one another as well as the importance of accepting help.

To have an effective support system, you must allow your support to do just that – support.

Accepting help does not mean we are no longer independent. It does not mean we are weak or helpless. It means we understand our bodies’ limits, and we respect that limit by allowing others to help us.

[bctt tweet=”Accepting #help does not mean #weakness. It means others #care about you. #fibromyalgia”]

Helping means caring, loving, and supporting. Allow others to show they love you, care about you, and support you. 

[bctt tweet=”#Helping means #caring, #loving, and #supporting. #AcceptHelp #fibromyalgia”]

Resources for helping a friend with a chronic illness –

Follow my Pinterest boards for more information on fibromyalgia –

Visit Being Fibro Mom’s profile on Pinterest.

Visit You Have Fibro, Now What to view all the parts of the series!

You have fibromyalgia Now what? #fibromyalgia #chronicillness #chronicpain

Is accepting help difficult for you to accept? Share in the comments.

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Brandi

Hi, I’m Brandi, the writer and creator of Being Fibro Mom and My Fibro Journal. Aside from my work on Being Fibro Mom, I run a group called Fibro Parenting on Facebook. I've been writing for the Fibromyalgia Magazine since 2016 and recently became the Secretary and Fibro & Families program director for International Support Fibromyalgia Network. Facebook-+-Twitter-+-Instagram

6 thoughts on “You Have Fibro, Now What? Accepting Help From Others

  • August 18, 2015 at 8:20 am
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    Thanks so much for including my post ‘how to talk to a friend who is struggling with illness’! Great post as always Brandi 🙂

    Reply
    • August 18, 2015 at 8:28 am
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      You’re welcome! You have so many great posts! It’s hard to choose one 🙂

      Reply
      • August 24, 2015 at 5:49 pm
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        Wow thanks for your kind words! Shared this post on a G+ Chronic Pain community as I think its one many people need to read!

        Reply
        • August 26, 2015 at 11:40 am
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          Thank you for sharing!

          Reply
  • August 25, 2015 at 9:40 am
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    Great post, Brandi! This was a very tough thing for me in the early years, too. I accepted help from my husband because I had no choice, but friends would say “Let me know if I can do anything,” and I could never bring myself to ask for any help! Fortunately, I have amazing friends 🙂 One was always there for emotional support, even dropping off little gifts, like a bouquet of wildflowers. Another would just show up on my doorstep in the afternoon, with a full dinner, saying, “Just pop this in the oven at 350 for an hour.” I was soooo grateful for those surprise drop-offs! It was just what I needed but couldn’t ask for. Like I said, I have amazing friends!

    As for house-cleaning, hiring a cleaning service went from a nice luxury when I had worked full-time to an absolute necessity we could barely afford. We found a local woman who had her own business and was willing to work with us – we decided what we could afford and then worked out a cleaning plan for that price (which included things like only vacuuming in our finished basement and only washing the floor in our kitchen). 13 years later, we still use them!

    Great post on an important topic.

    Sue

    Live with CFS

    Reply
    • August 26, 2015 at 11:42 am
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      Those are some great friends you have! That’s a great idea to have a casserole to just put in the oven! How nice! A cleaning service would be a great idea. Maybe when we get into a bigger home (we are in an apartment right now) that would be a serious consideration.

      Reply

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