Something that I’ve noticed when well-intentioned friends and family offer to help “Spoonie” me:
Those offers are more appreciated than you know; the tricky part is the follow through.
I often hear “you never asked!” or “I didn’t know what you needed” or “Wish I could but that day doesn’t work”.
It totally changes the dynamic from someone understanding that you need assistance and making that happen and you being put in the position of asking a favour, two very different things.
Here’s the thing: as a formerly vivacious, uber-capable person, it kills me to ask for help. I never have, not from my parents, not from anyone. My self-esteem as a fully functioning adult is pretty beaten up already.
If you genuinely want to help, having a take charge attitude is incredibly helpful to someone like me. It shows me that you have the time and willingness. It tells me that I’m not cutting in to your personal or family time. It makes me feel that I still have value and am not burdening you.
There are so many things that you can do without being asked that improve quality of life for “Spoonies”:
Offer to help get garbage to the curb
Shovel out a walkway; lend your green thumb for some gardening
Drop off a casserole; send Skip the Dishes gift cards
Help with organizing files, cupboards, closets
Splurge on a house cleaning service gift card, it takes the embarrassment of an untidy out of the mix
Offer to help picking up groceries or shopping or send complimentary Uber / Lyft rides
Splurge on paraffin manicures or pedicures for friends with arthritis or fibro
Doing these things spontaneously, offering them at any time rather waiting to be asked is huge for me. A friend who also understands that sometimes shit just gotta get done and that every visit doesn’t need to be or should be a social event is golden. I want to see you, need to be connected to people who know who I was but every once in a while, if you could throw on a Super Hero cape, that’d be amaze-balls!
No one wants to feel indebted, least of all the people in your life who for whatever reason may not be able to reciprocate in kind. There are so many other things that I or we can still do to enhance or enrich friendships, all you need to do is be there and really mean it.
29 October 2018