By: Dr Alexa James
It can be frustrating if we need help, but don’t want to accept it, or even harder, that we don’t want to burden anybody else. Fortunately, as someone living with chronic conditions that make it harder to do normal business, I can say that there are people who really want to help others.
Some people have the best of intentions, but don’t know exactly what to offer, or maybe just want to do something else. When you offer support, the choice of words can really determine how comfortable we feel to accept your offer. I would like to note that this doesn’t mean that anyone is ready to help us at all.
Perhaps the appreciation we feel when people help us can’t be imagined. You probably also could not imagine how difficult it would be when we were in the middle of the pain of our conditions or overwhelmed by the kindness of yours, or when we felt embarrassed that we needed your help.
If you live with an invisible and unpredictable disease, emotions can be strong. One of us wants to be the last thing that a person cares for, and if, by offering, we feel like you are uncomfortable, or just to be cute, then we’ll probably thank you, but say that you don’t have to.
Although we fall into daily tasks such as washing and dishes. In my case, I would rather harm myself to do what I need every day instead of having somebody who doesn’t want to help me, or be given “help,” which really doesn’t help me. I’d really like if you didn’t offer people just to be cute or to say something, because I can’t tell it is very rare.
That is why it is very important to offer your assistance. Things to do can help someone with a chronic illness. The following are ideas. I also have a way of asking everyone to make it easier for the recipient to accept your offer, for the wording will make them feel like you want to assist them.
Offer to clean them without any assessment or expectations.
Rather than saying, “I’ll come and clean you up,” “Do you want me clean up?” Try to say: “On Thursday, Thursday, or Friday, I come to cleanse FOR you, whatever day works best for you. You just have to point me into a room, tell me some special instructions, and then relax.”
That means we’ll need to work when you are coming, and it can really be hard to know when that is possible so usually, we’ll say something like, “Oh, I want it to work,” or “Oh, thank you so much for this offer, but it isn’t needed.” We’ll do the same often if you start your offer with, “You want it to work,” or “Oh, thank you so much for it.”
We’re not ungrateful, nor do we think the worst of you. This is because we have to live with feelings we don’t do enough, and the culpability that accompanies this leads us all the time to feel like we burden those we love. We just try to avoid such sentiments and are actually a burden.
I suggest using the phrase I mentioned previously, or saying, “Hey, I’m coming for whatever task you do,” to which many will answer, “Oh, you don’t have to,” and then, that you may tell them flat-out, to which you WILL, that you really wish to help someone without making them feel you are just being polite.
Sometimes, you come into someone who does not really want any help, and you should fulfill their wishes in those cases. You can at least know that you’ve done all your best to make them feel comfortable accepting your assistance if you offer to use the same word that I suggested. The key is to make sure that your words imply that you WILL be helpful, not just polite.
Go for them to the shop. It may be hard for us to perform on a bad day and it will prevent us from carrying out several other tasks so we can prevent it from being great at any time.
Try to use sentences like: “I head to the shop later, thought I’d see if I could collect anything while I was there? “Or:’ On Thursdays I go shopping. If you list anything you need, I can pick it all. “Both of these examples are helpful in making sure that we accept the offer because: a) it allows us to recall some time in every scenario; b) you make it clear that it’s not just a journey for us. If you’re going there anyhow, we don’t feel so bad to let you help.
Trust the person you are trying to assist that the number of items is not an issue if you let them know that you are shopping throughout the store. I would leave things outside a list sometimes because I didn’t want a person to go back to the shop. Find a way to let them know you’re ready to get everything they need, and this isn’t a big problem.
For this particular task, storage specific applications can be extremely helpful. A number of them now have all the items, prices, sales and coupons listed in the app. You can use the app when you draw up your list, so it almost sounds as if you can see the items in person.
Pay a bill or give you a prepaid gift card, that can be used wherever it is required.
If you suffer from a chronic disease, this at least means medical bills. It could also mean that you can’t work so that finances can get tight. Even if you have great money and you do everything you can to earn income, medical expenses can keep you broken. When you can and want to really help, it can be one of the most useful things to do to relieve some of the financial strain.
Some people might not want your money, but if you know they need help there are ways to do so. Much money stuff can be treated anonymously. Some companies used to have programs that allow you to pay on a bill without the information of your account.
Many places have changed that because of privacy policies but checking for any company for which you want to pay is at least worthwhile. If you cannot find a way anonymously to do this via the company, slip cash into an envelope or a prepaid card, and make sure that they will only receive it anywhere else. It will alleviate some of their stress unless they are rich.
Watch your children so that they can relax regularly.
Many people with kids may have this very well in its wording. You are more likely to offer some sort of assistance, if you have been that fatigued parent to see another parent. For chronically ill parents, it’s both common that we feel like we aren’t doing enough for our kids or that we are riddled with it all. We will not want to accept assistance, but the fact is that a chronic disease will never go away when we feel like we “pawn them” at someone.
Some of us are in pain and exhausted daily, regardless of how sleepy we are. Daily self-care can be very helpful in our management, but we often lack the time, especially when we are parents. The best way to do so is to talk about children as much as possible or a routine. “Annabeth needs to socialize more, why don’t I go to Isabel every Thursday to get together? “or:” You are on my school journey right now, and children need to make friends, how can I get them every day?”
Adjust these suggestions according to how long you can / would like to devote yourself to helping. If you can’t do things regularly, providing some help can still alleviate some stress every once in a while. Therefore, don’t let the suggestions lift you away from proposing a few hours ‘ free time to play random playdates.
Another thing to consider when providing childcare-if they are really going to use downtimes, they should do their best to make arrangements for all their children. People often forget children who are not close to their own age in their home, because they may not know them so well. If your objective is to help people really, try to involve everyone, so that their feelings are not hurt.
Offer emotional support to those who appear to have everything covered. Sometimes we only need someone who can listen and truly understand.
Some people are physically covered or helpful, or even financially, by themselves or other. You may appear to be in control of everything. In such cases, I offer at least to be someone they can’t compete with, or say they can be fixed easily or anything. You only have to vent sometimes. I have experienced this many times myself, so I offer to be there for others who may need it.
Many times, if I try simply to let them vent, I’ll let them speak about anything they want, without offering much.
Only if they say something that they really need or want to know, will I offer you information. I usually say something like, to offer emotional support: “I know what it is like that someone does not judge, does not participate in, and does not. Sometimes, I’m adding, that I have experienced similar or detailed experiences that make them know, I’m going to understand and not be judge-full, like: “My children are 12 and 18, if you ever want to speak. I’m going to be here. I know that teenage years can be frustrating times, “or anything that is relevant to what they appear to experience. All five of these things provide you with the best opportunity to offer your assistance to someone you are interested in helping.
Remember, there are the rarity people who just don’t want to get bothered and it is sometimes difficult for us to accept that because people want to help others. We must also respect these people, because it can also create more stress if we continue to let them help us. It can be a difficult situation to measure but you only know it can happen. Providing the wrong type of assistance can significantly increase our stress level. We always deal with people who just don’t try hard enough to fight our conditions. We always deal with people.
Unless we have a discussion (and it is clear that we do not know something that exists, it is not appropriate or helpful to suggest practice more, yoga, meditation, diet or other similar things.
If you have met a recent article in our condition on a new development, that is great information and helpful. Alternatively, there may be a book that you know about our situation, which can be useful, but only provide suggestions. Try not to tell us that it’s going to heal us. CHRONIC are the chronic conditions. There is no cure, only symptoms are managed.
You should not make a comparison of the pain and the symptoms with your own when offering help (unless you have the same condition, even then, all bodies can be different).
“Oh, when my muscles hurt, I just stretch out and take a hot bath and they feel so much better.” We wouldn’t fight so badly if it were. Without being very new to pain and diagnosis, we have tried every normal remedy, and we tend to become exasperated when people continue to put forward simple stuff.
Together with the other examples of how not to offer combined with how to help in ways we feel comfortable with acceptance, both of these examples should certainly provide guidance if you really want to help someone. When done in the right way, your support is needed and appreciated. We will certainly try to ensure that we do not burden you for the majority of people with invisible diseases, but that your help is so needed.
Thank you for your readiness to offer your assistance in the best way possible. More people are needed who really want to help. Some people in their lives are not ready to do so with chronic conditions. Seek them, and all of your loved ones who are struggling with your health and do whatever you can to facilitate your lives.
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