Fight for Yourself
What did you think when you read, “Fight for Yourself”?
Probably a lot of different responses!
Scared – Fight is a dangerous word
No Way – I can’t, don’t know how, I’m not supposed to
Yeah! – That’s right, I will, what she said!
Confused – Huh? What does she mean?
I do, I am, I should, I’m not, I can’t
I get it. Let me first clarify. Fighting for yourself means being in tune with and caring for yourself, standing up for yourself, and being an advocate for yourself.
Sometimes it means asking for what you need. It also means stopping something that is bad for you.
Fighting for yourself doesn’t mean being argumentative or being a bully.
It doesn’t mean not caring about the other person. It does means coming alongside yourself as a caring and protective friend. Why? Because God made you a precious and valuable person – one worthy of love, care, and protection.
You may not have grown up being given messages like this. You may not have had others in your life see your needs and step in to protect you or guide you. I’m so sorry if this is your story. If so, it makes it harder as an adult to instinctually know what to do to fight for yourself. It makes it harder to even believe you are worth fighting for.
But guess what? It’s not too late! You can learn and I’m here to help!
I’ve had to fight for myself a lot recently, and I’ve gotten pretty good at it. I recently had a victory, and wanted to share what I learned through the process.
I had to fight for Oxygen…pretty basic right?
Most of you know I’m on supplemental oxygen 24/7 (click here to get the scoop). It’s been 2 years, and it has been a fight from the beginning to get various insurances and providers to pay for it. I haven’t always been victorious. My most recent fight involved getting a provider to authorize liquid oxygen delivered to my home. It took three months of fighting and going up the chain, and last week I won!
Liquid Oxygen is expensive so I understand their reluctance. I also understand that liquid oxygen is better for me than the concentrators and gas oxygen I’ve been using. I advocate for myself regularly. I don’t get in the trenches and fight very often…only when necessary or an injustice has been done.
Having a serious illness and dealing with lots of Doctors and providers has given me lots of practice. I’ve fought for tests, specialists, appointments and equipment. I’ve filed claims against a major health provider with the state of CA. I’ve also fought against a Doctor’s recommendation to go on Palliative Care (we can’t do anything for you – let’s make you comfortable) because he’d given up on me. Needless to say I now have a different Doctor and a different insurance company.
So here’s some general principles I’ve learned:
~ Advocate for yourself because you are worth it. God created you. You are precious. You deserve to get what you need, and to stop what is harming you.
~ The folks who aren’t helping you have problems. I don’t mean this as a slam. The 10 people who denied my request had their own job to do. I’m sure I have no idea what was going on behind the scenes.
~ Be polite but firm. The first 5 times I was polite and gave them time and room to respond. Their tactic was to never call me back; so then next 5 times I was polite, firm and told them I was not going to stop to get the liquid oxygen my Doctor prescribed. I just kept asking for the next person up the ladder. Finally they said yes. It is so critical for me that I would have taken legal action. Fortunately I didn’t have to.
~ Don’t give up until your avenues are exhausted, or the fight is costing you too much personally. My first experience trying to get oxygen supplied 2 years ago ended after weeks of trying. My husband walked in, saw me sobbing and told me to hang up; we would buy the $3K machine ourselves. We put it on a 0% credit card and paid it off over time.
~ Even if you aren’t successful, congratulate yourself for being a proud warrior on your behalf. Even if you don’t win the particular battle, you won a larger more important battle by advocating and fighting for yourself.
I really hope this helps you. I have no way of knowing what you are dealing with. What I do know is that you are worth the fight. You may need to get some help from others who can help.
I would love to get your input.
What stood out to you? Which of the statements above resonate with you? How do you feel when you stand up for yourself? How do you feel when you don’t.
Please leave your comments below and share on social media or via e-mail with others who might benefit!