Remembering to ask for help

I’m spoiled.  I know that.  I have a fantastic support system.  Just knowing they are there if I need them makes me very lucky and very spoiled.

I’m not good at asking for help.  I never have been and it’s possible that I never will be, but I’m a ton better than I was.  After 20 years of symptoms, I’ve learned that there are times when it’s important to ask.  I still don’t ask for help as much as I should, but I do it more than I used to.

After throwing my laundry in the basement dryer last night, I ran into a neighbor on my way back to my apartment.  She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a few years ago and I have offered many times to help her with errands or tasks around the building.  She has never asked for anything, but when I see her in the building I hold doors open for her and I help her carry things.  Last night, she asked if I could pick up something for her at the grocery store.  I told her that she had great timing, because I was planning to go after work today and I’d happily pick up anything she needed.  She seemed apologetic, kept asking if I could really manage it (she knows I have health issues too), and then started to offer an explanation.  I waved off her explanation and assured her it wasn’t necessary.  She looked uncertain, but finally believed me.  I think she was hesitant to ask for help from someone who also has limitations, but at the same time, she knew I understood.  I understand the way most people don’t.

My neighbor has friends.  I know they help her.  But I also know how hard it is to ask the same people to go out of their way constantly.  I’m so thrilled that she finally felt comfortable asking me for help.  I hope she asks again.  Some days I won’t be able to do it, but on the days I can, I’ll be only too glad to.  And I’m glad she’s accepting that it’s ok to ask.


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