My own experiences so far – the relevant ones, that is:
- long-term illness which kept me housebound for years and isolated me socially;
- post-traumatic stress following not one but two specific events, plus the other kind which goes with long-drawn-out stress;
- long-term depression, which no longer troubles me – yes, you CAN become a recovered depressive even after many years;
- bereavement and other losses, some of the identity-changing kind;
- and more, which I’ll probably think of as soon as I walk away from the laptop.
I spent seven years as an invalid, dependent on others for almost everything. I didn’t need my bottom wiping (thank goodness) but as for meals, income, a social life – my very identity – I was helpless to make it happen.
That experience taught me a great deal. I learnt about people, including myself. I learnt about strength, and about courage. I found that hope is essential, but can destroy us too. I discovered what my own values really are… and I learnt how to be happy.
It turns out that when you’re unable to be independent, one of the greatest losses is the power to give. Maybe this isn’t the same for everyone, but I found I need to give, to be healthy. To be generous with what I have: love, understanding, wisdom. (We all have wisdom; we each have our unique mix of wisdoms. Far more use when shared.) It’s not surprising that people who lose their their future often find their strength and their values. I want you to find yours, your value and your happiness – but to skip the long learning curve that I have been through. What’s the point of all that trouble if only one of us gains from it? 🙂
This website is about doing my best to share what I have come to know. Please take as much as you want. In return, I ask that you pass it on to anyone you think it can benefit.
At the time it hurt to think that I’d only discovered this when I had nothing to give. Of course I didn’t have nothing exactly, but you know what I mean. It helped me see really clearly that working to look after myself, keeping my happiness and health at their maximum, is not selfish – it’s my responsibility, in order to make my role in the world a giving one rather than being forced to take (care, time, money)… we know this in theory but we should all commit to practising it! And how many do?
I resolved to make giving a central goal for the rest of my life. Or rather, I recognised that it was. It’s taken me a while since then to find ways to do more than everyday giving (the kind we can all do with family, workmates, and anyone we happen to see) – to make up for the years I lost. I wanted to blog as I’d done before, but wasn’t well enough to write on a consistent schedule; in fact I’m still not. In the end I decided to start putting out whatever comes to mind that may be useful, and no doubt I’ll get better at telling these things as I get used to it. For now it’s likely to be a bit random, so please bear with me! And the more you let me know what you find most helpful, the faster I’ll learn.
By now I have got pretty good at supporting my health and happiness. I am still on the journey towards being independent. This means I must ask your support, and let you know the ways you can help. Each gives a different kind of support and all are equally valuable to this project!
Please share my thoughts more widely.
Please tell me when I miss the mark and when I’m helpful.
Please use my PayPal button.
Many thanks! With love,