Sunday, 15 February 2015

Things I've learned: let people help

Learning to accept help has not been an easy task for me. But in the last year or so my husband and I have reached out to others and this was done with no expectation just hope. We admitted we cannot do it alone, even if we wanted too. We wanted to manage on our own, providing for our family in every way possible within reason. We thought we had it all figured out. But as life does, we all grow and change and with that needs and priorities change. I thought accepting help was a sign of my inability to cope and I was being a bad mum. I was in the mindset that I should be independent enough to do this on my own. To me, I thought it was a sign of weakness, but I was so wrong.

For our family we needed assistance to help Faith grow and develop further. She also requires a power wheel chair for independence and freedom so between intensive therapy, fundraising and equipment it was a feeling of sinking fast. Faith’s intensive therapy is needed in many areas including speech, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and she needs to be involved in normal activities such as being part of a preschool style program. This all comes at a cost not just monetary. There is only so many hours in a day and it is hard to cover every avenue of learning and development ourselves. By therapists and teachers being introduced into Faith’s life she is learning to trust others and therapists and teachers can push that little bit further in learning than a parent can. Even understanding what learning areas to concentrate on is a help with daily activities. She is like a rose coming into full bloom, it is exquisite to watch and be part of.

So with apprehension and some reluctance we reached out and said, “Will you help us do more for our daughter?”

An outpouring of love and support has come from friends, family and strangers. We have discovered how much so many people want to help and in so many ways. Help has come in time, food, money or just hanging around for a coffee and a chat. All of them worth just as much as the other.

One friend came and cleaned my bathroom as she said this was her way of helping. Another sends me roses from her garden weekly, brightening our home and a constant reminder we are not far from her thoughts. Even a conversation about something not medical related is a gift of a different head space and taking me for a short time out of my bubble.

Asking for help has opened doors for rekindling of friendships, building new friendships and being there for others in their own struggles. I have met more people and my life has been enriched by the new connections made. Opportunities have arisen where I can help others too. Because being asked to help others is a gift in itself too.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness or an inability to cope as I once thought it was. It is about supporting each other even if it is ongoing. I find it easy to slip back into the pattern of wanting to do everything myself and feeling guilty for asking for help. Even when I question myself thinking “surely people are tiring of us asking for help?” the truth is the majority of the time they are not. Most people just want to be asked.

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