How many of us ask for help when we need it? I suspect for most of us, the desire to ask for help lies somewhere between neutral and “not in a million years.” But there are times in our lives, Parkinson’s related or not, where we need to ask for it.
After Tropical Storm Irene flooded much of Vermont, the best advice my parents received was from a friend (a psychologist) who told them under no uncertain terms “when people offer to help, accept it.” It was some of the best advice they ever received. Fighting the urge to tell people to look for a family harder hit, my parents accepted help from friends and neighbors in the weeks after the storm and it greatly aided their recovery.
The fact is, when someone offers you their help, they mean it. That offer is to you because that person or group cares about you. If you truly don’t need help with anything at the moment they offer, ask them if you can call on them at another time when a need arises. Most often, the answer will be a resounding “Yes!”
Asking for help goes against instincts our Western culture has ingrained us with about individualism and “pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps.” But humans are social creatures. We crave community and the desire to give to others. May we all have the same grace to receive help as we do to give it.