It's OK To Ask For Help
Last updated: September 2023
For so long, I have been the superwoman for my family, work, friends, you name it. Typically, I am that go-to girl and am frequently on the giving versus receiving end. I have great people in my life, and if I ever needed the reciprocity, I know it's there. Even knowing this, I have very rarely ever wanted to ask others for help. I have never wanted to feel like a burden to anyone. I even convinced myself that I was strong for managing so many things on my own while still doing so much for so many.
Life threw me a curveball and things instantly shifted. I went from living with very mild psoriasis, to a severe flare. No longer was I within my comforts of spot treating small areas on my body. I now was spending over an hour daily slathering topical medication everywhere. Going from zero to one hundred with my major flare was indeed a lot to deal with. I was afraid but didn't want anyone to worry or know what I was feeling inside. I especially didn't want my children worrying.
One day I woke up experiencing itching and burning everywhere. I tried my topicals, and even some home remedies with no relief. I ended up laying in my bed crying and just asking why. My twin sister happened to call me on the phone, and I began to break down crying. I told her I didn't understand why all of this was happening, and I didn't know what to do. She encouraged me so much with her words and instant desire to help. In that moment I told her that I needed her and she was there. I literally surrendered to how I was feeling which has always been a foreign thing for me.
I realized as my flares weren't immediately improving and my joints also suffering that I needed to be open and honest with all of the important people in my life about what I was going through. It was hard, but I needed help and had to take my superwoman cape off. On days I was literally too exhausted to function, I kept it real with those around me. I felt bad a lot because I didn't want my kids to think I didn't want to do things with them any time I was too tired to move.
Support means everything
Being honest has had some great benefits. My kids understand fully about psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. They contribute to helping lighten my load, and will cook, clean or do anything I ask if I need extra support. If I don't initiate asking for help my family will on their own do check ins to see if I'm alright or to just ask if there's a need. Outside of my immediate circle I am grateful to be connected to support groups where if the need is just a listening ear I have others to relate to.
Asking for or acknowledging you need help is not a weakness, it actually shows strength. We are not meant to do things alone, especially when we don't have to. Not asking for help can potentially create more harm from burn out or undue stress. This can possibly contribute to issues with your flares. If you don't have supports within your immediate circle consider getting connected with support groups. We all need community and support, lean in, and don't be afraid to be honest about your needs.
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