Since that was the topic I left off on before all this started, I wanted to pick up the thread briefly again to say I have been self advocating these past few months, and although it is exhausting and frustrating, it is so necessary! I don't have a spouse or significant other to take care of it for me, so I have to take care of myself. There are days I can't do it, I won't lie, but I try my hardest to fight for me, because let's face it, no one else will!
The fact that I have put thought into things BEFORE a flare or catastrophe has helped to make things easier. I have also accepted any and all help offered, no matter how small or insignificant it may have seemed. Anything I don't have to do is a help right now. If someone offers to pick up milk one day, I let them. If they offer to make a phone call or drive me, I say thank you! I can't be proud and pretend I can do everything when I am falling apart myself.
I still don't have a perfect support system. Other than my mom, I have no family help at all. I have few friends who understand or even offer. But there are some people who try and I appreciate it. I am brainstorming right now as to other resources for help, perhaps through my church, because we need the help. The point to advocating isn't to perfect, it is to keep trying and to not give up on finding help when you need it. It is also about being that help when you can.
I can and do offer myself to others when I am able because I know how hard it is. Believe me it comes back to you sevenfold. I don't do so others will help me, I do it because I know how grateful I feel when my neighbor offers to run to the store for me, when someone else takes the trash or recycling to curb on Sunday nights when I can't get out of bed, etc. . . Be a friend to others and you will always have friends. Some won't ever get what you are going through, but that's alright. It isn't a score keeping game, it's life!