It’s hard asking for help.
It can be especially hard asking for financial help.
Even when we really need it – even when people around us really care – it can still be difficult and uncomfortable.
We may fear rejection. We may feel we’re “asking too much.”
Personally, I’m much more comfortable GIVING help than RECEIVING it.
Can you relate to this?
Even knowing that people are glad to give when asked (including ourselves) – we remain quiet. It’s not because we’re trying to be “tough,” “go it alone,” or convince everyone that we don’t need anyone’s help. We’re just dreading the embarrassment.
But, when you are dealing with a serious illness and can’t afford the treatment you need, you are forced to reach out to others.
Getting that assistance could come with challenges, though. For one, you’ll need a good relationship with the people you are asking.
There are fundraisers, charities, and donations that don’t require a personal connection with the donors. But, when you can’t depend on those anonymous contributions, the quality of your personal relationships counts.
How can I ask for the help I need?
It may seem elementary, but first, get clear on your “why.” Why are you asking for their assistance?
Do you have a severe problem? Are you in immediate need? What happens if you ARE able to afford your treatments? What happens if you ARE NOT?
Helping people understand the importance of their role and why you are asking for support can go a long way. Educating them about your illness and how it’s affecting your life makes people more sympathetic to your cause.
Most people, when they understand the stakes, enjoy helping people. Everyone needs help or has received support at one time or another. Once acquainted with a person’s problem, they frequently step up.
My problem (my “why”) is tough to explain?
What do the experts say?
This approach is the evidence-backed “why.” Medical diagnoses aren’t always easy to convey. You may have trouble explaining your condition. You may even have trouble pronouncing its name.
Everyone’s encountered the medical system and get how things work. When you explain the process that you brought you to this point, it will help them with insight into the legitimacy of your claim. No one expects you to be the world’s foremost expert. But, it would be strange and unconvincing if you knew nothing about it. In other words: take enough responsibility for your condition to do your homework.
Different people inspire varying levels of confidence. You may disclose more or less to each person. But, to whatever extent you can, invite them to understand what you’ve learned and why this is the recommended treatment option.
Who knows? They may even have advice or experience to share.
Do I need to ask for forgiveness before I ask for help?
It’s a difficult situation to need the help of someone with whom you are on bad terms.
Your contentions could be from a small, recent argument or a profound, long-standing wound.
Asking for forgiveness and repairing relationships is always healthy for the body and the mind. But, even if you are just being practical, you may need to mend your relationships. Healthy, loving relationships are the bridge to facing life’s problems together.
You may be convinced you’re in the “right.” Or, deep down, know you’re wrong.
Either way, it’s never too early or too late for forgiveness.
Don’t let pride and a stubborn attitude prevent the relationship’s healing.
Life is a team sport. We all need to restore and nurture our mutual commitments to being there for one another no matter what.
They, too, may be suffering from the severance of your relationship. An apology can go a long way. Sometimes, you just need to take the first step.
Yes, asking for forgiveness can be uncomfortable and unpleasant, especially if you’re not used to doing it. But look: here’s an opportunity to grow. It’s hard to accept, but much of our growth in life is forced, not volunteered.
People asking for help on your behalf
We all need “stand-ins” and surrogates. We may call them advocates, counselors, or parents. They fill in for us when we can’t handle something ourselves.
A family member or friend may be able to reach out to people that you can’t. They might have the right connections or just the diplomatic skills to facilitate assistance. Additionally, hearing about someone’s needs from a 3rd party can be more credible and induce more sympathy.
Consider this: most fundraisers are not conducted by the person in need. Even on a commercial scale, large charities use spokespeople to represent their cause.
Having a credible, well-respected person approach others on your behalf can be very effective.
Why is medical care so expensive anyway?
Especially in the United States’ medical system, millions of people suffer from inadequate care due to financial reasons. Some people can’t afford insurance, and their employer does not supply it. Others have some insurance, but it does not cover all of their needs. Sometimes insurance is “supposed to” cover something but requires an uphill battle before reimbursement.
All of these predicaments can be disastrous. They are even crueler when you’re already too ill to fight for yourself.
As someone with a long history of facing financial predicaments from health problems, I find it sad when patients lose out for money’s sake.