What are your experiences with asking for help? I think we can all agree it is not an easy thing to do, especially in dealing with chronic illness when you are not even sure at times what it is you really need.
Asking for help is something I have never been good at, and accepting unsolicited help is even harder for me. This is something I have been working on as I feel it is due to an unhealthy amount of pride and ego. I never like to seem weak or vulnerable. Very primal of me really, like a pack animal that hides illness or injury to continue to blend in with the herd and not appear like easy prey. It is a useful survival instinct, but one that has not always served me well.
And I need look no further than FibroHaven to see the wonderful results of asking for and accepting help. Take a quick look around this website and you can see my attention has been elsewhere lately. And as I shared recently, it is not from a lack of love or interest, it is simply a choice to spend my time and energy where it is best suited right now and not wear myself out by doing more than serves me.
So there have been very few blog posts and local support group meetings, and only sporadic Facebook updates. FibroHaven had definitely lost some momentum. And people noticed. And as I began thinking about how I could address the situation I remembered an offer of help that had come to me some months previous. One of the most active, friendly, and positive members of our online community had generously offered to get more involved with FH and help in any way that she could. So I contacted her and asked if she would be interested in becoming an admin on our Facebook page. To my delight she said yes and our Facebook community has never been better!
Pascale has enlivened the page with new energy and interest – sharing everything from relaxing meditations to important information on tinnitus. People are engaged and interested, offering their opinions and experiences and caring when others offer theirs. Each time I check in I see there are new members and new conversations on interesting topics. And because we all experience FM and chronic illness differently, I am realizing how important and useful it is to have more than one voice posting and encouraging conversation.
When Pascale first extended her offer of help, I was interested, but not clear on how I would utilize her. But when the time was right and the need increasingly apparent, it became very clear. I am so glad I reached back out to her and asked. And I am so proud to have her as a new voice for FH and in our FM community. And judging by the many conversations going on over there right now, so are you!
So please join me in welcoming Pascale, and thanking her for stepping in when it was most needed. Like all of us, she is doing this while continuously learning to live well with chronic illness. Some days we manage better than others. Somedays our voices are lively and active, and somedays we need to retreat. But with such a wonderful and caring community to return to, you can be sure FibroHaven will continue to inform, encourage, and inspire.
And thank you to The Fibromyalgia Network for taking notice of the new energy on FibroHaven and sharing our page with your community. You have been a positive and informative resource for all of us for many years. The work you do in invaluable!