Ask and you shall receive.

“Ask and you shall receive” is a wonderful suggestion, but short of having a magic genie in our pockets, it is not true, for the most part.  However how I see this applying to those of us with RA, is that we have to ask if we expect to receive ANYTHING – i.e. help, services, support, etc. Not asking is probably the worst thing we can do.

First of all it makes our lives very difficult if we persist in trying to do everything ourselves, unable or unwilling, to reach out for assistance.   I have to admit this one is hard for me and many of my RA buddies have indicated it is a challenge for them as well.  I think there are a few reasons for this.  First of all I like being (no I think need is the correct expression here) able to do things myself. Period. I hate to be dependent on others.  RA has changed this to some degree but not entirely.  I still try to do almost everything myself with little or no help.  But the years of flaring as a result of being unwilling to ask for help have given me some degree of wisdom and I am a bit more inclined to ask now…and almost always I receive!

I also discovered when I reflected on this dilemma that I had a little bit of a hidden expectation that somehow magically family and friends around me would simply jump and do or ask me if I needed anything.  The fact is I don’t openly invite that and so how can I expect them to know to do that?  In a way they are all “trained”, as one of my RA friends put it, to NOT help because we always did for ourselves as the independent people we are.

That means some “retraining” is needed.  For them and for each of us individually.  I have to be willing to ask and not wait for someone to magically appear or know that I need their help.  That is unfair to them and equally as unfair to me to have such unrealistic expectations.

I will say that there have been times when others have “sensed” my need for some additional assistance or support but I now realize that is lovely but not anything I can rely on nor should I. Expecting this to happen will lead to disappointment and resentment of the people around me. I have to take responsibility for asking during those times I need that extra level of support or assistance.  We surely do ask for it in the public world, at least I do.  I have learned to be quite assertive when it comes to customer service needs.  I have no problem letting a repair person know for instance exactly what I need done.  And, of course, when it comes to my health needs I have learned to be my own best advocate and ensure that my needs are taken care of.  So it follows that I need to apply those same principles to the “ask and you shall receive” notion.

If we can achieve that we will have a much better quality of life not to mention our RA will be better managed!

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