Single, Sick, and Shy About Asking For Help? Do a Worksheet. May 19, 2014Posted by Onely in blog reviews, Everyday Happenings, Food for Thought, Just Saying., Reviews, Single with chronic illness.
Tags: Beth O'Donnell, How to allow people to help you, Single and the Sweet Side of 40, Singles and chronic illness
Copious Readers, as you can see from recent posts, Onely’s new Thing is writing about singles with chronic illness. Our goal is to encourage a wider dialog on this topic. This is especially important in light of the fact that unmarried people are already legally discriminated against in many ways. And then a chronic illness necessitates dealing with additional heartless bureaucracy, especially the parts that already favor married people–most notably health and disability insurance and Social Security. Single and sick: potentially a double downer, at least as far as life logistics go. (Although sometimes it’s easier to be single and sick, or at least to live alone and be sick–we will write about this in a later post).
Onely has been in touch with a number of bloggers and writers who are also interested in what happens to unmarried sufferers of chronic illness (and we hope that more interested parties will contact us, please!). Today, though, I wanted to flag one particular interesting resource for any socially or legally single folks out there who are constantly sick.
It’s sometimes hard to ask for help from people who are not in your immediate/nuclear family, because our society tends to teach that it’s ok to ask parents, children, or a spouse--especially a spouse–for all sorts of care and assistance–even the ongoing care and assistance often required by a chronic illness. So single people without that specific support system may feel odd or uneasy about asking their own, unique support systems and loved ones for help, even though those people would probably be happy to assist.
Beth O’Donnell at Single and the Sweet Side of 40 has created some workbook charts, called HELP THEM TO HELP YOU, that assist you with wrapping your mind around certain important issues and decisions in your life. The Chronic Illness workbook is not out yet (we’ll let you know as soon as it is!), but two of the other workbooks actually provide guidance and insight that could very relevant to a single person dealing with an unrelentingly irritable body.
First, The Broken Heart Edition: The phrase “broken heart” usually appears in the context of a separation from or loss of a loved one. But the loss of your body as you once knew it can also break your heart. You might need as much moral support as if you had gone through a terrible breakup. And as helpful as hugs and phone calls are, O’Donnell points out that “Moral support is great, but if you really want to help, clean my house.” (Or, in my case, “If you really want to help, go to my office and. . . well, do my work.”)
As a cat owner, my personal favorite is:
The vacuum is _____________________on the___________________floor.
As someone whose body seems to hate her, my personal favorites are:
The odor in the house is most likely:
a) dead food
b) dead mouse
I’ll take a shower when:
a) water doesn’t hurt
b) my hair is so dirty it can be sculpted
c) I get out of bed
I’ll get out of bed:
a) when I wake up
b) for five minutes, to walk the dog
Second, The Heavy Lifting Edition:
Photo credit: saiyanzrepublik