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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » General Support » Need Help Talking To Loved Ones

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Author Topic: Need Help Talking To Loved Ones
chastain
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Hi everyone..I have been having some difficulties at the moment with easing friends and loved ones concerns about me. I am very thin and I am quite ill but I also pride myself on trying to power through and do what I can despite my limitations.


Lately though it seems like everyone I love has been urging me to quit working and to basically just let everyone else take care of me. I really appreciate the sentiments but it is crucial to my sense of self worth to do what I can within my limitations.

I want to sit some of the people I love most down and have a talk with them all about this. I find it too exhausting to have several separate conversations. Any tips or ideas as to how to approach their concerns in a respectful manner while at the same time getting my point across about my need to have as much autonomy and control over my life as possible? Thanks in advance. Jess.

Posts: 651 | From ct | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rivendell
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Well, I don't know your family and friends, but you might tell them that your independence is very very important to you, and that you would be lost without your work. Tell them that they would feel the same way, even though they don't realize it.

Tell them that you very much appreciate their concern and caring and that if you get to the point that you cannot carry on, you will take their advice, but in the meantime, you hope to keep getting better with treatment.

Hope that can help.

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Keebler
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Bottom line about work: can you still do this and take care of yourself, too?

Maybe they could help you with practical matters and then you'd be better able to work?

Can your body carry through on your wishes or do they have a point in that, maybe, you should not push so hard?

Even if you might have to take a leave from work, it's all in HOW they would "take care of you" as I hate some of the stickiness of how that is all done.

If approached more as a project with goals that just have to be met, it can feel like a family or friendship circle project rather than anyone taking "care" of you -- it's just what friends and family do for each other.

You may actually be able to gain MORE independence by allowing them into your life to help as they can. Then you could put your efforts into what matters most for your well being.

I say let them in. Let them help. But you can design how help looks and works for you - and the group as a whole and each person within that. This is about their desire to help. Let them. GUIDE THEM.
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PatriotM
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quote:
Originally posted by chastain:
I am very thin and I am quite ill but I also pride myself on trying to power through and do what I can despite my limitations.

Jess, I applaud you for keeping the fight going!!! Fighting the lyme by keeping your life intact, in my opinion, is the very best thing you can do for your health.

Rivendell had an excellent reply and I agree with Keebler too - let them help, but you define the help so you can keep your life going!

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lax mom
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PatriotM: I respectfully disagree. I have finally learned to listen to the signals my body is sending me.

I pushed through my fatigue and brain fog to continue working long past the point where I should have stopped.

My body kept screaming that I needed to rest. I didn't listen. Now I have no choice but to get the rest that my body begged me for because I did major damage. I cannot muster the strength to physically hold my head upright many days.

When you get to the point where you use your entire day's worth of energy to simply take a shower, you can't will yourself to go to work...it's not possible.

I went through a grieving process when I could no longer work and support my family. I had been a hard worker my entire life, from working in the tobacco fields at the age of 7.

Having Lyme has taught me that I have more valuable qualities than my ability to earn money.

chastain: please don't overdo it. Your worth is intrinsic.

--------------------
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
(aperture)
http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=115161;p=0

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chastain
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Thanks everyone for the thoughtful responses so far. I have a difficult balance that I have to strike, I know. My work as an editor is incredibly important to me but I am probably working more freelance gigs than I need to at the moment, just to feel productive and good about myself. My sense of self-worth has always been very much tied up with effort. I have always felt like I needed to work very hard to be "worthy" of the same stuff that most people don't think twice about.

I think your point about making this a family and friendship project is a really smart one, Keebler. I think everyone that loves me is freaked out because of my basic personality. I had some terrible things happen to me early in my life that made me vow to never "need" anyone and to never ask for help, even when I needed it. It is an approach that being so sick now has forced me to reconsider.

Thanks again everyone. Jess.

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map1131
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chas, I learned the hard way that who we are and what we are as human beings has NOTHING to do with our careers.

You are in a place where your whole being is being successful career wise to feel your self worth. You are putting it before your health and well being. Not good.

Unless you can change and put your health/well being first and career way down the list of importance.....you might be heading for disaster health wise.

Your family/friends are seeing you through their eyes and what they see is scary. Take care of you first.

Pam

--------------------
"Never, never, never, never, never give up" Winston Churchill

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PatriotM
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So, for those that would encourage people to quit their job to concentrate on their health, I have a few questions?

What are they supposed to do for money? Insurance? Will they really feel better if they lose their house to foreclosure?

How do they keep their muscles from atrophying if they are going to just sit around the house and concentrate on their health? Isn't it better to keep moving (working, etc) and keep those muscles toned? It seems to me that the more sitting around a person does, the weaker they will get and the less the chance that they will ever recover.

How about the psychological effects of giving up a normal life? Isn't it better to keep your contact with people than to voluntarily isolate yourself and give up a normal life?

As for me, I will continue to FIGHT! I will not give in to Lyme. I will not sit at home.

I felt TERRIBLE this morning, but I drove an hour (each way) to an AGA certified farm to pick up grass fed (non-gmo) beef. After completing some work that I must do, I will ride my bike 4 miles this afternoon even if I still feel terrible. It's unfurtnate that the globalist scum felt it necessary to infect me with their bioweapon (lyme virus), but I will not let them, or it, win!

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map1131
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Only you can make the decision on quitting your job. I didn't have any idea how we were going to make it without my income. It was scary as he!!

But after working over 2 years ill and getting worse and worse because I was one of those people who could not and would not put my well being above the company, the answer was taken for me.

I was body slammed back down in the bed. My body gave up. It took years for my mind and heart to catch on.

I don't like Patriot you suggesting that those of us not able to work as sitting around and being lazy people. You better watch how you think about THOSE people, because you never know when that can all change.

If you think for one moment because some of us became disabled we gave up......you have no clue where this road can lead you. No clue what is in the future for you. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. You have no clue the fight that has been with all of us to get well and continue with life.

My suggestion was to put your health and well being before the company. That didn't mean quit. There's a difference.
Good for you about being determined this illness is not going to change your active life.

Good luck and I hope you don't get the "sitting around" adjustment.

Pam

--------------------
"Never, never, never, never, never give up" Winston Churchill

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chastain
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Hi everyone....Patriot, I have to agree with map on this issue. It is not as simple as just willing yourself to keep going. I was an athlete and a ballet dancer before getting really sick and now if I power walk each day, I am exhausted for hrs after. I do agree that people need to fight and try to push through their symptoms, but there are limits.

There are people with this illness who cannot work and it is not because they are lazy ( one of my favorite people on the planet cannot work regularly from this, and they are the FURTHEST thing from shiftless or weak or lazy, they are just too damn sick right now to do the things they used to when they were well).

Patriot, I was bedridden more than once from this illness, to the point where my ex boyfriend had to bathe me and spoon feed me and during thos etimes I didnt work because I simply couldn't. Please dont judge the people who cant work so harshly. And I actually quit one of my freelance editing jobs today at my drs behest...he told me it reaches a point where you are being counterproductive and actually hurting your health by pushing too hard.

I believe in not "giving in" and doing all that you can, but those that are too ill to do so at times deserve our empathy, not our condemnation. Jess.

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PatriotM
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Map and Chas,

I agree with you that some people are simply too sick to work and that does not imply that they are lazy (nor did I say so). I wholeheartedly agree that they deserve our empathy. That was not the issue that you (Chas) asked about. The issue was someone that was sick and yet determined to keep working.

Neither of you answered my questions. I would genuinely be interested in your thoughts on the matter.

If a person quits their job to stay home and concentrate on getting better, what are they supposed to do for money? Insurance? Will they really feel better if they lose their house to foreclosure?

More importantly, how do they keep their muscles from atrophying if they are going to just sit around the house and concentrate on their health? Isn't it better to keep moving (working, etc) and keep those muscles toned? It seems to me that the more sitting around a person does, the weaker they will get and the less chance that they will ever recover.

How about the psychological effects of giving up a normal life? Isn't it better to keep your contact with people than to voluntarily isolate yourself and give up a normal life?

Of course, none of these issues apply if the person is FORCED to be bedridden as then events are then out of their control. That wasn't the issue that Chas brought up.

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Robin123
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There is so much societal pressure on us to tie worth to working - financial, social status, judgmentalness, etc. I had to learn the hard way that I have worth as a person even if it's not tied to work.

If we don't make self-worth conditional, then we will have respect for ourself no matter what happens to us from this illness or anything else.

I think there is a giving-in process that many of us have to go through in saying no to the usual way of doing things. We have a different priority and that's tending to our health needs.

If your relatives and friends are willing to support you in that effort, that's actually very supportive of them. A lot of people don't have understanding people around them.

Then, I agree with above posters, which is, you be the judge of how much you can do or not do. And not tie it to self-worth as the measurement, but instead your health, as in what do you need to do for your health.

Additionally, to consider our happiness and sense of fulfilment - doing the things we love, doing the things we're trained to do - I'd say, keep your activities, but do them in modified form, which means doing less of them than people who are healthy can do.

Modified form is a key concept for me in everything I want to do - I always ask: how can I do this thing I want to do, but in a lesser way so I can manage my health needs.

[ 10-25-2012, 03:08 AM: Message edited by: Robin123 ]

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soccermama
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Jess, I heard that one of the chinese definitions for crisis is both chaos and opportunity. You mentioned in an earlier post that you made a vow to never need anyone.

That vow may have helped you in the past. Now, you have an opportunity to let go of that vow and allow people who love you to help you.

I agree with others on this board who have suggested setting the parameters. Like they said, if they are helping it might free up some energy to do the things that you love and bring you joy.

We all need it on this journey.

One way to reframe your view on this situation is to know that allowing family/friends to help you is really helping them. Everyone feels good when they help someone.

Also, their helping you may alleviate some of that "helpless" feeling loved ones experience when they are having to watch someone they care about going through a chronic illness.

Be thankful...There are so many who do not have support.

On a practical note, you may want to composite an e-mail that expresses your feelings and communicates ways that they can help. That way you only have to spend that energy one time.

Another possibility is send an e-mail giving a meeting time at your place. Then, have a prepared speech to say or read. That way you will have an idea of those people who really want to help you.

I can tell by your posts that you are a very independent but thoughtful person. I am glad you have many in your life who care about you.

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chastain
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Robin-thank you so very much for the great advice.

Soccermamma-I am very thankful for the good people in my life and you are right I am lucky to have their support. The prepared speech is a really great idea. I am terribly shy and so to have a speech in front of me that I can refer to would def help a lot.

I also greatly appreciate the compliment and I thank you for the kind sentiments. Jess.

Posts: 651 | From ct | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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