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It’s Okay to Ask for Help

It’s okay to ask for help. I am an extremely stubborn and self-sufficient person. I love knowing I can do things on my own, but one thing I’ve had to realize over the years, is that IT’S OKAY to need help. In fact, some days it’s absolutely necessary. I am strong, I am independent, and I am perfectly able, but-let’s face it, there are days where MS undoubtedly takes over. There are days where I wake up weak or in pain, and those days I need a little extra help. Since being diagnosed at a young age, I have always taken pride in the fact that I am still able to do most things on my own. I have taken pride in that, because I have had to be honest with myself and face the fact that one day I may not be able to do everything I can do now, on my own. It’s hard for me to ask for help-whether it be pride, or mere need to prove to myself that I can do it. However, over time and through experience, I have come to find that some things I think I can do aren’t always best done alone.

Feeling vulnerable

There is irony in the fact that while I love to extend grace and help others, I genuinely struggle with asking others for help myself. I think it’s because, requesting help and support from others has a way of making me feel vulnerable. I always think that I should be able to do things all on my own, or sometimes, that asking for help will make me seem weak-although, sometimes, my body is literally weak. But, asking for help doesn’t make me that way! Sometimes, though, if you have to ask for help from a stranger or someone you don’t know very well, asking for help can be really scary or even embarrassing at times. I have an especially hard time with this one, because I don’t want others to feel sorry for me. And, also asking for help from someone you barely know makes you vulnerable to rejection.

Giving ourselves permission

I mean, what if they tell me no?! I have to remind myself daily that others may have their opinions and/or reactions to me, but that does not in any way define me. It’s important, too, that we give ourselves permission to ask for help. We need to remind ourselves that sometimes asking for help isn’t only OKAY, but it may be essential for us in a desperate time of need. It’s also vital that we remind ourselves that we are worthy of help as well. If you choose to see it in a negative light, and ask for help negatively then only negativity can come from it. Choose to ask for help in a confident and humble way, so that others will not only jump at the chance to help you, but also gives them a way to contribute and do something good in return.

Helping hand

One more thing I would like to add-to receive help, we must be willing to help others as well. While asking for help can stink at times, it’s nice to know you have the support and care of others. When we extend help to other people who have similar issues, it not only makes us feel good, but it’s extending the favor. Asking for help isn’t always simple, and sometimes it’s really darn hard, but EVERYONE can use a helping hand sometimes. Remember that, and don’t be afraid to ask when you’re the one in need of a little help yourself. 😉

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Jan
    2 years ago

    Hi Calie, nicely put. And I can truly relate. I also remind myself that for someone to be able to give, someone has to receive. (I’m better at being a helper than a helpee).

    By asking for help, we are in a position to both educate ourselves and others in positive ways.

  • Happy57
    2 years ago

    Hi Calie, thank you for sharing you experiences with us, I found them inspiring.

    I’ve been living with PPS MS for 18 years now, I’m using a walker for the last 4 years plus a brace for my drop left foot.
    Asking for help/assistance is part of my life, I put tools in places were I need the most help. I try not to sweat the small stuff. I am determined to try helping myself first, with my 3 times rule, then I ask for assistance. Getting out of vehicles when I don’t have the lift from my aps, really becomes challenging. Do I ask the driver to assist me when I’m alone?
    I follow my instinct, if I’m not sure of driver I won’t enter the vehicle.
    Go with your gut feeling

  • Bettybeem
    3 years ago

    Boy, you really nailed exactly how I feel! Finally, now that I’m in my mid 70’s, I’m somewhat more comfortable asking for help. About 7 years ago, I realized I could no longer do this. I’ve also learned I don’t have to be solely responsible for doing all the shopping. I use Amazon for all my pet supplies, household products, office supplies, etc. I have recently started home delivery of groceries. This really helps avoid being out in the midst of Houston’s summer heat. I also feel I do less impulse buying. Last year my PT suggested I start using a cane in certain situations to avoid falls and possible TBI’s. She presented it in such a way that I was able to accept the fact a cane would possibly help me maintain my independence for a longer period of mind.

  • elsiesue
    3 years ago

    Calie thank you for sharing and writing this and putting what I have been struggling with into words. I read a lot of the stuff on this site but this is the first time I’ve been moved to reply. I was diagnosed just last year with RRMS at age 60 which was a shock especially at my age.
    I too am fiercely independent and stubborn and have always been active. I also am a nurse so I have always been the one caring for and helping others so that makes all of this really a struggle for me but I am pushing through! Thanks again for helping me to realize that its ok to need and ask for help.

  • Azjackie
    3 years ago

    This is such a big part of my life. Asking for help is difficult and it really takes a lot of me to ask for it.

    Asking for help from family, myoyfriend, and friends is impossible for me. I have to work extra hard on this. I don’t want them to pitty me. This is a work in progress.

    Asking from strangers is much easier. The other day I drove to the pharmacy and got lucky with a close parking space (I am personally struggling with getting a handicapped placard). I knew the shopping carts were about 30 steps from the car. A man was standing near the entrance about to light his cigarette. I climbed out from the car all limbs stiff with spacticity. For me I think spacticity arises with panic or stress. I thought about the steps into the building, climbing up the curb, potentially falling, etc. Anyway I quickly thought the man is just standing there, so I asked him if he would walk inside the door and get me a shopping cart. He gladly obliged.

    Strangers are so much easier. I didn’t have the wincing, the wringing hands, or whimpering as with someone close. This learning tool will make it easier for me to eventually ask those closer to me.

  • elsiesue
    3 years ago

    I too have more trouble asking for help from my husband and family for same reasons. I guess because I worry more about what those closest to me think . I dont really care what strangers think. Thanks for putting it into words for me.

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