Independence and Asking for “Help”

So I was reading a post on a blog today from Thanksgiving and it made me want to not only share it but also talk a little about my views on the subject. So this is my “belated Thanksgiving” post. What am I thankful for? Well, not MS, but what I have learned from the disease I don’t think I could have learned any other way, so I am thankful for the knowledge and wisdom it has brought me. It has helped me appreciate things I took for granted, it has shown me who my true friends are, it has helped me see what is really important to me in life, and many other things of the sort. As well, if not for this blog (that was only started after I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis) I would have never met my girlfriend who has shown me an entirely different and new world. Would I relive any of my horrible MS experiences like my physical rehab stay? Hell no! Would I change it if I could though? No… It had definitely shaped me into a person I was not before and though I am far from perfect at the moment, I think the foundation for happiness has been set.
So read the following post on BBH With MS and then come back to this post and keep reading, click the link!
I couldn’t agree more with this post, especially about not wanting to ask for help. I have long thought about this and wondered why I am like this because if I just asked for help life would be easier and less frustrating. I have since concluded that it’s because I am desperately holding on to what independence I still have left in my life. I have always been a very independent individual and Multiple Sclerosis has taken a lot of my independence away. Plus I am stubborn! So when someone asks “do you need help with that?” my stubborn brain automatically thinks “No! I can do it! Jeez!” even if I can’t. The example I shared in a comment on the above post is “On Thanksgiving I was sitting at the table and everyone got up to make their plates. I just sat there and was waiting for the crowd to clear. I was about to ask my mother to help me make a plate so I wouldn’t drop it but before I could ask, my father asked if I wanted help. Then my stubbornness kicked in and I said “no, I’m fine, I’m just waiting for the crowd to clear” and I got up and made my plate on my own even though I was just about to ask for help.”
So even after 3 years of living with MS I still have a hard time admitting that I may need help. See? I just did it again! Instead of saying “admitting that I need help” I said “admitting that I may need help”. I think a lot of us “MSers” have trouble here for the same reason; we are trying to hold on to our dwindling independence. Plus some of us are stubborn which I will argue is not a bad thing. I don’t believe I would be where I am today with this disease if my stubbornness did not push me to succeed. I try to take advantage of it haha.
Do you have trouble “asking for help”? Share you experience below!

6 Responses to Independence and Asking for “Help”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well, when I meet my neighbor, she often asks me if I need help with shopping or something and I always answer "thank you! I´ll let you know" but what I´m thinking is that I´d rather starve then let her do my shopping…..
    So, I wait until I feel a little better, even if it takes a few days, and I´m out of everything.
    "Stubborn? Who? Me?

  2. Haha is your neighbor a jerk by any chance?

  3. Anonymous says:

    No, no, she´s nice and friendly, only I don´t really know her that well and I kinda want my privacy. Also I don´t want to owe her anything, I guess.

  4. Hello Matt Allen. My name is Rachmat Tubagus. Im a physician from Indonesia. now i learn about Multiple Sclerosis. Thank you for share about MS. Lets we more care about patients with multiple sclerosis.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi Matt. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experiences with MS. I am always mindful of how fortunate I have been so far with the way my MS has responded to the DMDs. I think accepting help would be difficult for me if I should need it because of the MS, but it's just false pride really. I have always gone out of my way to help other people when I've seen they need it.It makes me feel good to be able to help other people. But I have decided that today's society has become too insular. Nobody seems to have front porches anymore, when we have neighbor disputes, instead of resolving it with them civilly and face to face, we cower behind our windows and call the police; we read about people ignoring strangers in need and pretending they are too busy to get involved. Enough. I have concluded that the best approach is the resolve to be a drain on society. I will not feel guilty about it and in fact,I intend to derive great enjoyment at the prospect of inconveniencing people for my own amusement.

  6. Rachmat; More physicians need to make an actual effort to learn about Multiple Sclerosis so thank you!

    Anonymous; I hate to admit that I think your right but… I think your right… society… at least here in the states, it's just… it CAN be pathetic…

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