Fix

I used to work with people who had significant issues. My job was to help them to achieve some life skills and independence. I would metaphorically parachute in once a week and offer support, comedic entertainment and optimistically they would gain a new perspective or skill. Then I would go, and their lives would continue muchly as they had before my arrival. Interlude over. I am not trying to be cynical or undervalue the assistance that I offered, but sometimes I feel that way with friendships too. I want to be able to offer so much more. If I see pain, I try to help, but I can never really know the impact I have on others. I can guess, presume, assume (there is a difference..) and hope that whatever I am doing has value.

I have a particular friend, Cassie, whose life resembles the contents of my wire bag. This bag is a huge tangly mess and has what feels like every wire I have ever owned in it. And quite possibly it does, given my magpie-like nature.  She has many issues, and if I were to approach her like someone who I was working with, I still would find it tricky to know where to start. But I go to see her, she makes drinks and helps me with things that I find tricky. Then I listen to her and we try to bring a little order to some of her chaos.

It humbles me. Cassie is someone whose life, by my appraisal, is hard. But irrespective of how bad her day is, we have an utterly reciprocal friendship. I always feel glad to see her, she is funny, usually in a self-deprecating way, and she has such amazing strength, which she doesn’t always credit herself with. I think that she is the kind of woman that one day will see just how amazing she is and at that point, she will bloom. It is a day that I feel genuinely excited about.

I don’t think that I can ever know precisely how valuable I am to someone else. But I completely understand how valuable the people that I love are to me. They are all shiny.xx

Map Point. Who helps to fix me?

Post no. 95

My self-imposed mission was to write every day for a hundred days, which, until day ninety-four, was going really well! I am now shy by around a week’s worth of posts, which would have put me over my goal, but now my days of chaos are over, I can resume. This is really important to me, for so many reasons.

I have many reasons for wanting to write this blog. The first is this is what I love doing. I love to write. I get to be my authentic self in my blogs, no pretence, it is like having a truly non-judgemental friend who I can talk to. Sometimes writing is a catharsis, a quiet place to explore, analyse and ponder. Feeling connected to others, even if through the medium of the screen, tells me that my world is bigger.

The advent of master’s degree is approaching and writing every day was something of a test for me. I needed to know writing many words consistently was something that I could achieve. This has given me a strength, a determination that I wasn’t sure I had. It feels like a milestone in my life to realise that I am much more than I think.

So to the things that have kept me away. My volunteer work with my daughter’s school became crazy busy, and at the same time, everything else did too. My daytimes were spent in activity, and my night times were spent longing for my bed. I had no energy to create, no energy to simply be. I think this is important for me to reflect on. My energy reserves were being directed to an area that subtracted from every other. I was spent.

So now, I am back writing. I am relaxing back into the familiar. I feel energised by putting pen to paper. I am home.

Map Point. Why do I allow certain things to drain my energy?

 

Denial is my sword and shield

My daughter has just had a week long holiday from school and I? I won the extreme delights of a respiratory infection. I can’t remember the last time that I was this, antibiotic requiring, ill. And it is hideous, but the somewhat odd thing was, that it took me a really long time to realise that I was actually ill in the first place, and I wondered why I went through this level of denial.

To start with I get intermittently terrible hay fever. It would likely be fine if I consistently remembered to take the tablets (I don’t), use the salt pipe and Rudolph machine (see my previous blog ‘my glorious ailment’ for a truly sterling picture of me!). However, for some reason, I have decided that I am quite clearly invincible, so daily usage is not required. Until I start to seriously suffer, which is what I thought was happening, so I started taking some meds. Then the cough began.

Now I don’t usually cough with hay fever, but with denial as my sword and shield, clearly, this was hay fever extraordinaire! A mighty beast of hay fever to be slain! So the coughing continued, and I risked using the salt pipe.

Then the tiredness crept in. Rather than attributing this to anything illness related, I simply surmised that I had been having a few too many late nights and needed a catch-up, and likely it was all just related to my hay fever. The monstrous beast was fighting hard.

Then maybe around ten days later I decided to hedge my bets. I went to see my doctor. He got the stethoscope out and put it on my back as I breathed in and out. He then told me that he needn’t have bothered with the stethoscope as apparently me breathing a little deeper than normal, he could have diagnosed me from across the room. He gave me antibiotics and told me that my hay fever was likely bad too (I knew, I knew!).  But why the denial in the first place?

I think it comes from having very many chest infections in my late teens. I had bronchitis three or four times, once it then exciting developed in bronchial flu (cue laying on the carpet, curled into a ball, making the tiniest clearing my throat sound instead of the big cough that I wanted to do, as I had shredded all muscles over my ribcage, coughing seriously hurt!!). I just no longer perceive myself as an ill sort of person, whereas back then, the onset of winter appeared to always bring cough. That lasted for, well, pretty much winter. I also rocked ordinary flu a fair few times too. I have not been doctor requiring sick for such a goodly while, I think I just forgot that it was an option. Or I was scared to acknowledge the truth.

I think that sometimes the memory of what was before can feel so similar to the present. Realising that just because something has happened before, doesn’t mean it will be identical if it happens again. In fact, it could never be identical because so many variables will be different. Including me.

But anyways,  am mid antibiotic course and now no longer need to sleep during the day in order to recharge enough to keep going. Am considering this a massive win! And clearly, this means I am better?

Map Point. Where am I expecting the past to reoccur?