Learning to accept people’s care for me has been both a hard and a good thing

Already I can’t do as much as I want, or at least I should not. Usually this is about driving, though it can also be about changing light hard-to-reach light bulbs or staying out too late. When I do something I shouldn’t anyway, generally out of some sort of anger, I usually regret it, though sometimes it works out fine.

People have been incredibly eager to help me, and most have been exceptionally good at it. People offer to give me rides everywhere, and during a recent surgery I was flooded with offers of food and company during my recovery. To me this is a real lesson about being able to accept help. I was raised to be the one who gave help, and learning to accept help has not been easy. My message to people who have a hard time graciously accepting help is pretty simple. If you live long enough you’re going to need other people. Start practicing now at accepting help, or you’ll be sorry.dale head shot

Sometimes people believe in me even when I don’t. The dance teacher who insisted that I could stand up straight, and who kept insisting until I did it. The project manager at work who sent me to represent our clients at a public meeting despite my very obvious tremor. Most of these people don’t make a big deal about helping me out. It’s as if they don’t realize that what they are doing is actually a big thing.

The people who aren’t much help are the ones that want to give me advice. It seems like I know a lot of advocates of various types of alternative therapies. Some of them seem to regard it as some kind of failure if I just take my drugs and don’t care to investigate yet another new approach, especially one that I already know about, have investigated, and have decided against. Their insistence makes me think that it’s about their feelings of discomfort with my situation. Or maybe they’re triggering my own feelings that I should be trying new approaches; that it’s my duty to struggle and to win against this disease. As if that were really possible.

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