Start Where You Are, Use What You Have, Do What You Can

Living with a chronic illness, like multiple sclerosis, presents a unique set of challenges. Managing finances can be one of them, with medical expenses, reduced work hours, job loss, or unexpected expenses straining budgets and causing disruptions. Financial worries can impact our emotional and physical wellbeing, and building a support network of friends, family, and others living with similar challenges can offer much-needed support. I heard a quote once saying, “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can,” and I couldn’t agree more. Be resourceful and think outside the box. 

Making the most of what we have is a form of resourcefulness. Resourcefulness is the ability to be clever and flexible when solving problems. It means being able to look for innovative solutions for our problems and explore unconventional approaches. It’s true that financial matters are typically private, but you may be surprised to see how much family, friends, and the community are willing to help when someone needs a hand. Sometimes, all we have to do is ask. 

Our community can provide valuable information and validation when we are facing financial hardships. Sometimes all we need is to feel heard and know that we are not alone. By sharing your story, community members can offer practical advice or new ideas. Our community may know of local assistance programs or even offer assistance themselves. Many communities use social media to donate household items and equipment they no longer use. Who knows, your community may have a local social media group for donations just like mine. These resources not only alleviate financial strain but also create a sense of belonging and solidarity within the community.

Building and maintaining a supportive community may take time, but the benefits are worth it. Here are some tips for promoting a supportive community:

  • Communication: Don’t hesitate to reach out to friends, family, support groups, or community forums when you’re struggling. People are often willing to help, but they may not know how unless we ask. Social media can offer a great platform to build support.
  • Be honest: Be open and honest about your financial struggles. Being forthcoming can promote a genuine connection and allow others to provide meaningful support.
  • Offer support in return: Remember that community is a two-way street. Just as you receive support, be willing to offer support to others in need. Acts of kindness create a cycle of support within the community.

Managing financial challenges while coping with a chronic illness can feel overwhelming but know that you are not alone. Having a supportive and giving community can make all the difference, and building a strong community begins with ourselves. By offering support or simply a listening ear, we lay the foundation for a generous and resilient community. We are stronger and more resilient when we work together.

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  • Terri says:

    Is there any help with getting a one floor home?

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