I have my spoon lifted, anticipating the deliciousness that I’m about to experience when suddenly, without warning, I freeze. I’m pretty sure having my favorite food in front of me is one of my triggers. My Dad stood with his arm around my shoulder while I had my seizure. He stayed with me for 25 minutes while his food got cold.
This is just one the many ways someone has inconvenienced themselves to support me. Over the last few months my family and friends have made me dinner, brought me coffee, watched my son, checked in on me daily, I could go on and on.
While I feel supported, I also feel like a burden.
I wonder when people will get sick of helping me. I wonder if they think I’m milking it. I wonder if they are annoyed by my neediness. I wonder why they keep being so nice when I provide nothing in return. I am constantly anxious over these thoughts.
Here’s a small list of how I expect things to go and how they actually do:
“I’m sorry I didn’t make it, I’ve been having seizures.”
Expectation: You’re making it up and I hate you.
Reality: I’m so sorry to hear that, I’m here for you if you need anything.
“Would you be able to drive me to the store?”
Expectation: I have a busy life of my own, why would you even ask?
Reality: Of course, just let me know when.
“I’ve been really down about my epilepsy and all my seizures.”
Expectation: I have my own problems, can you stop?
Reality: How can I help you?
“I’m sorry I’m so needy, I feel like a burden.”
Expectation: I’m glad you realize it, now stop bothering me.
Reality: You are going through a hard time and I am happy to help you.
I am incredibly thankful that this is my reality.
I’m learning to be okay with accepting help and knowing that it doesn’t make me weak. The irony is I am happy helping others, but struggle to let others help me. I am realizing the people around me are support beams, they lift me up and make me stronger.
If you have support available but are reluctant to accept help, I encourage you to allow yourself to be vulnerable and take the offers. For those of you who don’t have a support system, I’m here to listen to and encourage you, please do not hesitate to reach out.