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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