It's OK to Ask for Help


When did we all get the "Wonder Woman" / "Superman" complex where we think we can do it ALL or even worse that we have to do everything ourselves? It’s OK to ask for help and it builds character when you give your children responsibilities around the house. As an only child, you would think my daughter was spoiled rotten but from the time Casey was old enough to do things on her own, she had chores to do. I'm not saying I treated her like "Cinderella" before the ball but everyone in my house pitched in to get the jobs done. For instance, when she was in elementary school, she made her bed in the morning, helped me load and unload the dishwasher, got the mail and fed the dog. As she got older, she would make breakfast on Saturday or Sunday help me with the laundry, wash the counters, vacuum the floors and when she got her license, she would run errands. She never resented me for asking for help nor did she complain that I was holding her back from living her life. By giving her responsibilities and having her help me when I was struggling to get things done, she has grown into a mature independent empathetic woman. Now Casey is in her first year of college and I’m so proud of her. She is busier than she’s ever been before but she’s ready for it. Since she has always had responsibilities and I did not do everything for her, she is prepared for the real world and all of the challenges she will be presented with.

After having Multiple Sclerosis for almost 24 years now, I have come to terms with the fact that I am not a superhero; nor do I have the energy to pretend that I am one. I have given myself permission to be who I am and I am no longer embarrassed to accept help from strangers nor am I too proud to ask for it. When I went to the grocery store this morning, it was 80 degrees, sunny and humid. I desperately needed to purchase 3 cases of water since we were all out but I didn’t know how I was going get them into my car. It was challenging enough getting them into my cart in the air conditioned store. As I was checking out and talking to the cashier, I asked her if there was anyone available to help me load the cases of water into my car. Another employee happened to be walking by and said, “I’ll help you.” On our way out to the car, I thanked her profusely and told her I had MS. I also said, “When it’s this hot out, I feel like the “Wicked Witch” from The Wizard of Oz and I feel like I’m melting.” She said, “It’s my pleasure; I’m here to help” with a genuine smile on her face. Almost every time I have asked for assistance, it has been a Win-Win situation. I’m grateful for the help and the other people feel good because they have helped someone in need and received praise and appreciation.

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