Independent | Daily Prompt: Take Care

Published June 12, 2013 by carlyjellis

When you’re unwell, do you allow others to take care of you, or do you prefer to soldier on alone? What does it take for you to ask for help?

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As somebody who happens to fall ill a good deal of the time I feel that I am very well equipped to answer this. To let you know a bit of information about me, I suffer with an autoimmune disease called Lupus which causes pain in my joints and muscles, makes me very tired a lot of the time and at times, when I encounter a bad ‘flare up’ of it, I find it incredibly difficult to move around unaided. Now the bit of background information is over with……

I’m not the kind of person who likes to ask for help when I am unwell, despite the fact that at times I really do need it. I am quite stubborn in that respect and very independent and therefore like to try and carry on as best as I can do on my own. I have lived with my condition for the last 15 years and most people I speak to about it, including family, have no real idea how it affects me and cannot understand to some degree how on the outside I can look perfectly fine, but on the inside I feel 50 years older. However, we me having young children in the house and living alone with them, I have been recently considering my options and have decided to invest in some items I can have in my house which will hopefully be able to aid me and assist me when I am having a bad episode, but where I can still retain my independence. In some respects I feel a bit strange having to buy things that are normally used by the elderly or disabled, especially at such a young age that I am, but I know that it is for the greater good. I suppose the only times that I would ever ask for help would be if I was in a position where I really was in trouble medically, not so much for myself, but for my children. My priority is them and therefore would want to make sure they were looked after.

However, conversely, a few years ago I suffered with depression and again, was adamant that I was not going to ask for help, in fairness to begin with I wouldn’t admit to myself that there was a problem but when I realised that things weren’t right I tried, as I always do to handle things on my own. When that didn’t work, I begrudgingly started talking to my boyfriend about how I was feeling, then my family and due to all of their love, support and encouragement I asked for help at my GP’s. It was there that I was referred to a counsellor and was able to talk through my issues and problems, which did help me. I have not been to see a counsellor in a while, but whilst I would not say that I am cured, I am in a much better place within myself and my own mind now, than what I have ever been. I have become a stronger person and whilst I still get the odd down days, I have learned to cope with them and now look forward to my future as opposed to dreading each new day as it arrives. And all of that is down to asking for help.

For me, personally, whilst asking for help has indeed helped me at times with my mental issues, I don’t think that I would ask for help with my physical well-being, unless it was an emergency. I have learned to live with my illness and find that I can better control it and handle the bad times with it if I am left alone to do it and not be constantly made a fuss of. As I said before as long as my children are looked after and taken care of during those periods of time that I am unable to do it physically, that is all that matters to me.

I am sorry if I have bored people with this post and to be honest this is a bit more of a personal post than I usually like to write but felt that there were some things that I needed and wanted to say. I hope you have not fallen asleep whilst reading anyway haha 🙂


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