I am pleased to welcome back Susanne White, Caregiver Warrior, as today’s Guest Blogger! As Caregivers, it can often be difficult to ask for help and yet, trying to do it all on our own can have devastating affects on our mental and physical health and wellness. Without a strong support network, Caregivers can quickly find themselves run down and burned out. Here, Susanne shares some of her thoughts on asking for help.
Ask for Help
Given my type A perfectionist personality, I approached my caregiving journey with gusto. I was going to fix everything and make my parents all better and everything was going to be ok. And I was going to do it all by myself! I could handle it. I was going to be a one woman band and I was going to play symphony!
I very quickly found myself overwhelmed and close to crashing and burning. There was so much to do and so much to learn! I needed to be in 14 places at once and I was running ragged.
I had to reevaluate my approach and my life. I needed to ask for help.
Asking for help is not always an easy thing to do because most of us who take on the commitment of caregiving think of ourselves as self sufficient. We think we should be able to do it by ourselves and we shouldn’t bother anyone else. We can even feel guilty and ashamed when thinking about reaching out to other people. Some of us even feel that there is something wrong with us if we “have to” ask for help.
Nothing can be further from the truth. Everyone benefits when we reach out and ask someone else to step in, give us an opinion, a helping hand or sometimes just listen. There are always people around us who would love to help and may not know how. We never know how available they are until we ask.
As I began to reach out to my family and friends and my parents’ dear friends and neighbors I was able to build up an amazing support group that saved my life on many an occasion. I got information from various support groups and received counseling on a weekly basis. As I needed more and more help I was constantly thanking the heavens above for all the support I received. Sometimes it was simply another understanding voice on the other end of the phone which gave me strength and courage.
By reaching out and simply asking for help and support you will be truly taking care of yourself. Even if you just alert people that you might be asking for help in the future you will be taking a step towards critical self care. They will be there when you need them.
Don’t let guilt, fear, embarrassment or pride keep you from getting the help and support you need and deserve. It takes a village to care for someone and having the support you need and are entitled to will make all the difference in the world.
Remember Angels exist but since they don’t all have wings we call them friends. These angels come in many forms and will appear when you let the universe know you need help. Don’t do it alone. Ask for help!
She graduated from Cabrini College, PA with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Sociology and received her PhD in Life Studies from the College of the Seat of Her Pants. She was blessed with the opportunity to care for her parents and ventured out on a journey that would change her life. She blogs about this journey on her site caregiverwarrior.com and shares her experience, strength and hope with others so that they too may survive caregiving with grace and empowerment.
Follow her on Twitter @caregivewarrior