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.
[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.
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 –
- 10 Tips on How to Support Someone With a Chronic Illness
- How to (Really) Help Your Disabled Friend
- How to Talk to a Friend Who’s Struggling With Illness
Follow my Pinterest boards for more information on fibromyalgia –
Visit You Have Fibro, Now What to view all the parts of the series!
Is accepting help difficult for you to accept? Share in the comments.