Parkies or no Parkies, I think of myself as a professional woman who is usually confident in the work that I do. I admit that in part my confidence has been a bit rocked, but basically pre-diagnosis and post-diagnosis I am still that functional professional woman. I have always had high expectations of myself and – although my work life can be stressful – I manage the job and the stress reasonably well, most of the time. I have supervised students in the past and have preached ‘self care’ to every one of them. I have encouraged them to know when they are stressed and needing support and also to practice some self-care strategies that have meaning for them. Most of all though I’ve always said, “know when to ask for help”. Today, I took a look at myself, at my workload and realised I was heading for stress overload. Stress – well too much negative stress – is not good for us, Parkies or no Parkies. So, today I asked for help!
I called my Manager and asked to meet. She is aware of my new diagnosis and knows that I am still adjusting and has offered support at any time and encouraged me to let her know when I need it. So, today I asked for help. Just for a few weeks while the workload seems beyond me and she said, “what do you need?” and we came up with a plan together and it felt great!
Sometimes, out of stubbornness, or pride we might think that asking for help is a sign of weaknesss. Perhaps, following diagnosis there might be a tendency to be reluctant to ask for help in case those around us think we can’t do our job, be an effective Mum, a Husband/Wife/Partner like we used to. I have always taught that knowing when to ask for help is a sign of strength, of self-knowledge, of accepting what we can or cannot do at any given time and it’s OK. Today, I practiced what I’ve preached.
So, today I asked for help! And it felt good!