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Knowing How to Ask For Help With Your MS

By Daryl H. Bryant (602 words)
Posted in Living with MS on December 12, 2016

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Knowing How to Ask For Help With Your MS

One of the hardest things about living with MS is the fear that you will lose your independence. Even with better treatments and medications, MS can still cause challenges in your life. Particularly in the midst of a flare-up, it may be difficult to do things that were once naturally a part of your everyday life. But asking for help is hard, right? Knowing how to ask for help with your MS will allow you to continue living your life without letting the disease dictate your lifestyle.

Accept Your Limitations

The first step to asking for help is knowing when you need it. If you feel overwhelmed by your MS and its effects on your daily life, take a time out. Sit down with a piece of paper and write out the things that are overwhelming you. Is it work that is too much or is it just the set-up of your desk? Is grocery shopping too draining or are you just having difficulty getting in and out of the car? Pinpointing specific areas of concern will help you determine what type of help will be best. While you’re at it, make another list on the opposite side of the paper and write the things you are grateful for. Your limitations do not define you, and they don’t have to define your life either. Once you accept that they are a part of your life right now, you will be on your way to living the life you want.

Brainstorm Solutions to Your Challenges

People always ask what they can do to help, and quite often, they are genuine in their offer. The problem is that we never have a list handy of things that we need. If your MS is causing a strain on your daily life, you should always have an answer when someone asks if there is anything they can do for you. What things would be helpful at your home? At work? In your community? Make your list and then decide if there are any people in your network that you might be able to reach out to who would be willing to fill your need. Try to come up with backup people for your most pressing needs so that you have a good list of people to call upon.

Make The Ask

The hardest part of asking for help is the actual asking. Once you know that you need something and have settled on someone who might be able to help you, reach out. Explain your situation and be casual. If you are asking for something ongoing or substantial, preface your ask by saying that you will not be offended if they say no. Where possible, offer to help them with something in exchange. Perhaps you need a ride to run your errands once a week so consider offering to watch your friend’s kids once a week so she can go out. Above all, remember that the worst thing someone can do is say no, and that will leave you no worse off than you already are. Most importantly, be genuine in your ability to accept a no. Don’t take it personally if your friend is too busy to be able to help. Just move down your list.

Asking for help doesn’t have to be hard. Once you overcome your fear of rejection, you will be able to ask for all the help you need. If your network is unable to provide sufficient support, look to your community. See if there are any services in your community that might be able to meet your needs.

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