Why Asking for Help is Hard
Finally, I broke down and wrote a note to my boss. It read: “My MS fatigue is catching up with me. I am struggling with getting through this meeting.”
I was not proud that I could not keep up with the day. I still struggle with how all of those events unfolded. But I am proud that I acknowledged to myself that I needed help. I needed a lifeline.
My boss didn’t do anything to change my schedule, but there was solace in him knowing that I was running on fumes. He was able to ensure that the meeting didn’t fall too hard on my shoulders and that was enough for me to push through until the end of the day. I wasn’t happy, but I had survived.
How to Ask for Help
Asking for help never comes easy for me. I have an even harder time asking for it from people who I barely know or I know only in a professional climate.
The thing is though, I will never know when I am going to need help. I tend think of my disease as shameful, as though I didn’t do enough and that is why I need help. I often feel like I don’t deserve to be helped.
Also, sometimes, I feel like people will look down on me, feel sorry for me or judge me as worthless if I need them to help me. It is the idea of being worthless that can settle in and dig at me the worst.
I admit I dug in and let those terrible self-effacing thoughts dwell for a while after I was diagnosed. Sometimes those thoughts still want to sink in, even now, after so many years.
Getting rid of your negative inner dialogue is incredibly important to your happiness and ability to thrive and function as a member of society. We all carry negative thoughts that bring us down or hold us back. We all have run into people who reinforced those thoughts that we have hidden in our hearts and minds.
Going back to my earlier example, my boss did not help when I asked for it – not enough at least. He was able to move the focus off of me for the meeting, which helped in the immediate timeframe. He did not, however, give me space to adjust the rest of the day in a way that ensured a safe work environment.