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It is easy to feel like you are a burden to those around you when you are living with a chronic illness. I still struggle with that at times. It has taken many years post-diagnosis to realize that being strong doesn’t correlate to being independent. It takes courage and wisdom to know your own limitations and reach out. I talked about this a few weeks ago on social but wanted to expand on that and bust some of the myths that we may carry in our heads.

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Five “It’s Not Okay” Myths

 

MYTH 1

It’s not okay to ask because I don’t deserve to get what I want or need.

  

MYTH 2

It’s not okay to ask because if I make a request, this will show that I am a very weak person.

MYTH 3

It’s not okay to ask because making requests is a really pushy, selfish, thing to do.

MYTH 4

It’s not okay to ask because I must be really inadequate if I can’t fix this myself.

MYTH 5

It’s not okay (or even worth it) to ask because it doesn’t make any difference if I don’t have what I want or need.

All of these myths have one thing in common, they are judgments based on our own insecurities and then projecting them onto other people. I can’t ask, because of what asking says about “me.” As a result, we already made the decision for the other person. If they are unable to or unwilling to that is perfectly fine, but that doesn’t mean we should interrupt that to mean we are, “undeserving, weak, selfish, inadequate, and insignificant.”

Once while in college I had a good friend who was like a brother to me. There was a time when he went out for a food run and I tagged along. I ordered my meal, but when it came time to pay, he offered to pay for me. I protested feeling that I did not deserve his kindness. As I protested he turned and said to me, “Please don’t rob me of the gift of  blessing you.” His mindset and attitude were totally opposite of the judgment I had made, and I welcomed his blessing.

Granted, I did not ask him to do that, but many years later, after figuring out life with Chron’s disease, I wanted to prove to myself that I wasn’t a weak person. But after a while, you realize appearances don’t matter. When illness hits life has a new normal, and from reaching out and asking for help and support I was able to form richer and deeper relationships with new and old friends and contribute to those relationships in new ways.

 

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