The guilt of needing help

A little while ago, Norah, who also writes a blog, asked me if I would write a post about how it makes me feel when I know I have to accept help that I don’t want.

She asked me to do this a little while ago and one of the reasons that it’s taken me so long to get around to this (sorry, Norah), is that I had a really long think about the things I wanted to say.

For me, it’s not really a case of ‘not wanting’ help, and more a case of having occasions in life where I feel like I ‘shouldn’t need help and should be able to do these things for myself.’

You see, over the years I have made my peace with the fact that I need help with quite a few things to live my life to the full and do everything that I want or need to do with my life. It wasn’t an easy process and I was certainly more stubborn about these things when I was a teenager, but now I view accepting help as a way to make it easier to do as much as I can for myself. Well, most of the time.

But when it comes to the ‘little things’ like tying my own shoelaces, putting my splints on, and up until recently, being able to tie my own hair back (the latter of which I can do now, by the way,) I always feel bad knowing that I need help to do these things. They’re little things that make a huge difference to me when someone lends me a hand with them, but all these ‘little things’ means that people take time out of their day to help me.

Knowing this doesn’t make me feel angry or sad that I need assistance with these things, but it always makes me feel a little bit guilty. The simpler the task is for the person helping me, the more I feel like I should be able to do these things for myself, and that always makes me feel a bit guilty that I can’t.

That said, I always accept the help because I need it, but I always try to get better at these things for myself too.

 

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9 thoughts on “The guilt of needing help

  1. I must admit that I still get uncomfortable when accepting help. I still haven’t fully got over the stubbornness of my teenage years…..

    There are certain things I need help with and I appreciate that, and like you have made peace with that. I think having friends that ‘get cp’ helps, like when we’re out and get to steps that don’t have a hand rail or a particularly high curb, an arm will appear for me to grab and steady myself. My friends never make a big deal out of it, which makes me more comfortable with accepting help. I can’t stand when people make a fuss even with the best intentions, or are too helpful…. This happened over Christmas when visiting a friends parents where their mum was ‘overly helpful!’ telling my friend to ‘get chris a chair’ or ‘make chris a cup of tea’. It made me feel uncomfortable… Luckily my friend stepped in and basically told her mum that I could do things for myself and if I couldn’t – I’d soon ask!!!

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    1. I know what you mean. My friends never make a big deal out of it either and it’s really nice. I agree that people being ‘overly helpful’ isn’t always easy to deal with. I know they’re always trying to be nice so I never want to upset anybody for trying to help. That doesn’t happen too often

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  2. It upsets me to admit I need help sometimes too, especially when it comes to my kids, so I can relate. Its hard for me to walk around in the cold, snow and ice as well. I even need help getting in and out of my tub, or up off the floor, but I’d rather be safe then hurt myself. Just keep thinking of how many people you’re inspiring!

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  3. I constantly feel guilty for asking for help, because I constantly ask my fiance Chris to do things for me. Specifically for me though, it seems that lately I ask him to do things that I am fully capable of doing but I’m just too tired to do them. Yes, there are things I need physical help with (like walking on snow or ice, walking up or down big stairs, etc) but a lot of times, I just stick my butt into a chair and then it’s “Oh, honey can you get this for me?”, “Can you take this from me?” “Can you turn on the heater?”….all of these things I can do, but I don’t want to get up. So it’s not that I can’t, it’s that I don’t want to. Sometimes I think I have trouble realizing that people without CP get tired too and need to rest. I’ve got to work on that.

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