How many times have you put aside your needs for the sake of ‘not raising a fuss’?
Yeah, I’m pretty much done with that. You see, if we don’t raise the fuss to do what is necessary to care for ourselves, then it will Never Happen. When we don’t care for ourselves, we not only short change our own lives, we limit our ability to care for others and make a difference in the world.
You deserve to be cared for, however that has to happen. Just so you know.
I just came back from the best vacation I’ve had in a very long time. Because for the first time, possibly since I found out I had food sensitivities, I raised the necessary fuss and got exactly what I needed. On a cruise ship, the people there really are there to serve you. And everyone else, but you too, and not as an afterthought. So I did my best to make it easy for them to take care of me. They did a great job. I think at this point they probably have a whole crew behind the scenes who just manage the special needs patrons, I wasn’t the only one.
Raising a fuss doesn’t have to be negative. I followed their procedure, I was clear and prepared with what I needed. I made it as easy as possible for them to support me.
I’ve stopped pretending that I don’t have special needs. I do. Pretending just short changes me, and by the way makes me irritating to deal with. I need special chairs sometimes (Is it sturdy? How wide are the arms?), I can’t walk as fast as some people, and I can’t eat ‘normal’ food, at least the way it appears here in the US. No amount of pretending will change it, so I’ve just gotten to the point where I can embrace it. Or at least acknowledge it.
In exchange for being clear about my needs, I had the most relaxing vacation I can remember. I don’t think I even remembered what it was like to not have to worry about what I ate. It’s really hard to have to be on top of something so basic every meal, all the time. At home of course I keep my home safe, but that means doing my own cooking and shopping and planning. Vacations are complicated. I either bring and plan all my food, making vacations a little less relaxing, or I spin the roulette wheel every time I eat, which isn’t as fun as it sounds because the risk is possibly ruining the rest of the vacation.
I encourage you to raise a fuss. Just a little one to start. State your needs. Be clear, but unapologetic. The more I do, the more I find that people are delighted to help, if they just had the faintest idea that you needed it. And when they aren’t? Well, you’re no worse off than if you didn’t ask, and you’ll know how to plan differently next time.