The Difficulty of Asking for Help When You Become Ill

I used to be a very independent person. To the point it was detrimental to my health. As a child I was ridiculed for being upset, so in my eyes as an adult, crying or being upset equates to weakness. It invokes feelings of guilt and shame.

So one can only imagine how difficult it was for me when I could no longer work due to my illnesses. I’ve had to rely on my fiancé financially for over a year now. Prior to that I had bought all of my own things since age 15. I had grown used to supporting myself.


When my illnesses began to develop and rear their ugly heads, I went through an intense grieving process. I felt worthless because I had to rely on my fiancé, and now it’s more than financially. Some mornings my fibromyalgia is so intense he helps me out of bed or cooks for me because I can’t stand long enough.

I was even more scared for my friends’ reactions. I used to go out and be far more consistent with plans. Now I frequently have to cancel and, should I go out, I need help. Luckily I have learned that’s OK. My friend enjoys pushing me in my wheelchair. She likes feeling included in all aspects of my life, as does my fiancé.

It hurts my loved ones to know I’m in pain but it hurts them more when I push them away and suffer alone. It takes strength to admit you need help, and everyone needs it at some point. We are all human and our illnesses shouldn’t dehumanize us. Our loved ones who choose to stay are making that choice. I am so grateful to them.

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Thinkstock photo via kobrin_photo.

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