Skip to main content

Letting Go of Being a Burden

Do you ever feel like a burden?

Like no matter how hard you try—you always seem to need a little extra help.

Even asking for a small accommodation might feel like you’re asking for far too much far too often.

Recently I was interviewed for a podcast called “Unapologetically Me.” 

The host, Boomer Perrault, explores different topics pertaining to mental health. He interviews guests going through a specific situation, whether it’s a chronic illness, depression, or an addiction, and encourages them to reflect on how their experiences have affected their mental health. And he ends each episode with the individual explaining their top tip for dealing with their particular circumstances.

When I accepted the offer to appear on the show, my first thought was: most people with my condition aren’t going to benefit from this at all.

Because they won’t be able to hear it.

Shortly after the episode went live, I posted it on my social media accounts. I was excited about sharing it but feared that people who have NF2 would get frustrated with the lack of ability to listen to it.

Within a few hours, I received multiple requests for a transcript of the episode so that individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing could experience it as well.

First off, I’m a bit of a podcasting newbie, so I had no idea that transcribing it was even an option…it makes perfect sense; it just never occurred to me until people started asking for it.

My next dilemma: asking Boomer to get the episode transcribed. I had heard that there are services out there that will do it for you, but still worried that he would reject the idea based on the time or money needed to accomplish it. 

I didn’t want it to be too much of an inconvenience for him.

I didn’t want to be too much of an inconvenience for him.

Even before my diagnosis, I always felt a little guilty asking others to do things for me. I tried to be as independent as possible, and if I ever needed help, I would try to even the playing field and do something for them in return.

This has progressively become more of an obstacle for me as I deal with my own hearing issues and needing a little extra assistance.

I’d rather pretend like I can hear everything and laugh along with the rest of the group than ask people to repeat themselves repeatedly. I’ll eat at a loud restaurant and suffer in silence instead of suggesting a quieter option. My husband is often the one to take the lead and propose an alternative location, sparing me from having to speak up.

Thankfully, Boomer noticed the comments requesting a transcript and agreed to do it before I even had the chance to ask him. Although it ended up being a bit of a tedious process, not only did he finish it in less than 24 hours, he also offered to transcribe the rest of the episodes if needed.

This was a big lesson for me.

Rather than viewing me as a burden, Boomer (who before the interview was a stranger), was more than happy to do what was needed so that everyone could enjoy the episode.

So if someone who hardly knows me was so eager to help, then why is it that I have such a difficult time accepting guilt-free assistance from people who know and love me?

Why is it that so many of us dealing with this disorder consider ourselves a burden?

As I’ve gotten to know more people living with NF2 over the last year, feeling like a constant inconvenience seems to be a pretty common theme. 

And it’s not just the people who are entirely dependent on caretakers to make it through the day—even those of us who need occasional accommodations tend to get stuck in this trap.

One thing I realized during this situation is that there is a delicate balance between feeling like a burden and knowing one’s value. 

Yes, our condition can be very taxing for those around us.  We might require assistance for everything and cause both a mental and a financial strain on our family. But above all else, we’re the ones having to live with this disorder and the daily challenges it presents. 

We’re the ones feeling the full weight of our reality.

God calls us to live in community with others for a reason. 

We aren’t meant to do life alone. We’re worth helping.

And if I believe that truth, then why should I feel guilty for asking others for assistance?

Now, I can’t speak for those who depend on constant aid from their loved ones. I’m not there yet, so I won’t pretend to understand.

But I do know that the more we label ourselves a burden, the more we become one.

We all need help sometimes and calling ourselves a burden doesn’t lessen the load on anyone else. It doesn’t take away the fact that we still need help. It does, on the other hand, make it harder for others to help us over time.

Yes, some people might resent the amount and frequency of help you need.  They might view you as a total pain and an inconvenience.

But how others view you is not your responsibility.

Your responsibility is to show love and gratitude for every bit of help you receive and to return that kindness whenever you are able. 

I know this is often easier said than done and that years of repressed guilt won’t fall away in one day. But I hope this gives you a little freedom to begin giving yourself and those around you a little grace.

Thank you to those who rather than seeing yourself as an inconvenience, spoke up and asked for the podcast to get transcribed. You recognized that you deserve to hear everything just as much as everyone else. You taught me a valuable lesson. 

And thank you to Boomer (who you can follow HERE), for living out your mission of kindness and showing the power of simple good deeds. 

If you haven’t listened to the episode yet, click HERE and go to the episode titled “Being Positioned” to play it. And if you are hard of hearing or deaf, click HERE to read it.

If you want updates about our journey, subscribe to my blog to receive posts directly to your email. And if you want to keep up with us daily, follow me on Instagram at beingpositioned or Facebook @beingpositioned!