One of the most daunting parts of fibromyalgia was accepting help from others. Accepting help from others when you have fibromyalgia 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.Learning to accept #help with #fibromyalgia. #chronicillness #spooniebloggers Click To Tweet
Coming to Terms with Your Limits
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 pain 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.
Chores are a Chore
Vacuuming, laundry, and other chores with fibromyalgia 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. Accepting your caregiver’s help is so much harder it seems.
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.
Accepting Help From Others
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. Helping means caring, loving, and supporting. Allow others to show they love you, care about you, and support you.
Resources for helping a friend with a chronic illness –