I am mostly German. I really could just end the post there, but I will elaborate. I’m not 100% German, I am also Irish, Native American (Cherokee), a little bit of English/Scottish/etc. (your basic melting pot American). Am I saying that one’s temperament is only based on heritage and we don’t have control over our own actions because it’s ingrained into our DNA based of where we come from? NO! I’m saying, when they say German people tend to be stubborn, it is very true (at least in my family).
So I am stubborn, very stubborn. I am what some people would consider a “control freak”… I don’t know what those people are talking about, I am perfectly reasonable. I just like everything to be exactly how it should be, if the way it should be happens to be the way I do it, well that is a happy coincidence. Ok, ok, I get it. This is something I have tried to work on for a long time. It’s one thing that I had to finally give a little (well, a lot) on when it came to the cleanliness of my house when I had kids and got really sick.
I’m an organization freak! I would rather get gift certificates to The Container Store than to a clothing store any day! I shop at Office Depot for fun! I love to make charts and color code paperwork. Are you starting to get a mental picture? My work desk will always look better than my “home office” because there I actually have some semblance of control over it. So when anything is out of place, heaven help whoever messed with my system! Sorry about that, didn’t mean to let me crazy show (hehe). Getting back to my original point.
When someone (like myself) who likes things a certain way, finds themselves in a place where they can no longer do everything on their own, it can be extremely frustrating. Like those old cartoons where flames would come off of Yosemite Sam’s head and then rocket into the sky, frustrating. No one likes to lose control, especially when that person is used to having a lot of it to begin with. I’m not saying that being a “control freak” is always a good thing. There are some people that are horrible “controllers” and take advantage of people, this is not the kind of person I am talking about. What I am referring to are the kind of people that take initiative in all aspects of their life. They don’t tend to need anyone holding their hand for anything, or require permission to make decisions (although when in a serious relationship, they’ll often cooperate well with their partner). This is the kind of person I am talking about, and this is the kind of person I am… or was.
I haven’t really talked much about my family, and I’ll do that more on another post, but I want to brag on my husband a little bit here. He works a demanding job that keeps him very busy, and when he gets home all he wants to do is rest. Instead he cooks three, sometimes four meals. Because of my food allergies, our sons (Asperger’s) extreme food aversions, and our daughters food sensitivities, there are very few meals we can all eat (actually there are not really any full meals we can all eat, just bits and pieces). Sometimes we can get away with just two meals, often three, or we’ll get food from take-out (which is always another adventure in and of itself). On top of all that, he does the dishes and the laundry. He takes out the trash and mows the lawn. He is an amazing Dad too!!! What I hate about all this is that he has to do all this, I hate that I can’t. It hurts me to think about everything he does for me after working for 12 hours. Yet when I work 8 hours, I have to take a nap and can barely move for two days. The guilt is horrible! I know there are times he wishes I could do more, but knows I can’t. Thankfully our daughter is starting to get old enough to help out more, which she has (a bit). I always feel like such a hypocrite telling them to clean, while on the couch… not cleaning.
One of the worst moments for someone with chronic illness is admitting you’re not in control of your own body anymore. Up until that point, if you wanted to work out, take a nap, sleep in, work 10 hours, or whatever, it was up to you. Not anymore. No, now the pain is in control. It decides whether or not you go into work today. It decides what medication you start taking on a regular basis. It controls the amount of sleep you get (or don’t) every night. For those of us with “control issues”, that can be a huge burden. Depression sets in quickly, or worsens for anyone that was already dealing with it. We build up barricades to keep people out, because it’s easier than hurting more people (so the pain is controlling our friendships now too). We hide behind smiles and say “I’m fine” when asked how we’re feeling, because it’s so much easier than admitting the truth. That our pain has taken control of every aspect of our life, and asking for help is the one thing we can control. If we ask for help, then that’s it. We will have finally lost all control over our situation and there will be no way to gain it back. You think to yourself “I have accepted this burden unto myself and taking help from others will only push it onto them as well. What would be the point of that?” But know this… the pain is winning again. Don’t let the pain win.
We all need help, sometimes. This has been extremely difficult for me to admit! It’s taken so long to come to this conclusion, that I feel almost hypocritical just admitting it. My knees/hips have gotten so bad that I can barely walk without assistance (especially for long periods of time, I’m ok just going into work and out, etc). Also, website has taken significantly more money to get off the ground than I had originally anticipated (which is hard on me right now as I only work two days a week because of my conditions). I didn’t write this whole post just to ask for money… seriously! While writing it out I realized I needed to take my own advice and do what needed to be done. I’ve started a gofundme campaign to get my website off the ground and in the process help me get a mobility scooter/wheelchair. No pressure to donate! I just hope this is an inspiration to people out there that it is ok to ask for help. This is coming from someone who is just now asking, after YEARS of desperately needing it. Thank you!
Asking for help isn’t weakness! This isn’t about me. It isn’t about one specific condition. It isn’t even about money. This is about people needing other people. Reach out to someone and maybe instead of asking for something specific, say “I can’t do this on my own anymore. What do you think you can do to help me?” They might have some ideas. Maybe someone could bring you a meal once a week, or come over and clean, or even just watch a movie with you. Let people surprise you. I’m going to do this… it’s scary (I’ll admit), but I look forward to seeing the results. Please comment below if you do this and want to tell me about it! I hope everyone finds the help they need and deserve. ♥