Feel sad then feel better.

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I have realised that the only way to resist change would be to never meet or respond to anything or anybody ever again. If somebody comes into your life and then leaves it again – use it. Every interaction you have changes you in some way; you always have a response to something or somebody. Sometimes change feels really sad and I have learned to ignore this sadness at my peril. Ride the feelings, relish them, learn from them. You will become a better person. Somebody recently told me that it takes courage to feel sad. So stop pretending things aren’t as bad as they are……..

Feel sad and then you’ll feel better.

By the way…. The above was partly inspired by a very good book I read recently: ‘The Other Side of You’, by Salley Vickers.

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Stop Semi-Helping!

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Can we please stop offering tit-bits of help, for the sake of party-political gain, to those who can’t afford to refuse it and, instead, address each kind of problem as a whole which requires unbiased expertise and reform?

I have just made the decision to use the mobility component of my Disability Living Allowance benefit to take out a lease on a car – the ‘Motability’ scheme. I’m very grateful, of course, but I don’t fully understand it…. I’ve been given a car because I’m disabled but which bit of money do I use to pay for petrol? I’ve been given a car because I’m disabled but I have to pay extra to get one with an access ramp. Surely it’s a given that a disabled person will need to travel in their car and, indeed, access it (just as with a non-disabled person).

Some other examples of ‘semi-help’ which I’ve noticed (delivered in the imagined voice of the proverbial ‘powers that be’):

“Accept your essential household energy supply from a limited choice of providers but be prepared for the price of it to be capped/ unaffordable/ hastily increased (delete in accordance with political debate).”

“Accept essential help to buy a property in which to live but understand that this will generally raise house prices and make them even more unaffordable”.

“Save every life that you can but, before you start resuscitation procedures, check each human being’s paperwork to ensure that they are legally entitled to your medical skills”.

“Gratefully use daily essential services provided by migrants but accept that your government encourages a generally hostile and unhelpful attitude to migrants (pay special attention to slogan-covered vans)”.

“Keep your job, which provides essential services to society, but lose your pension rights”.

“Take a council house because you are vulnerable and need some help but go on a waiting list for one without a spare room and then find somewhere else to keep your hefty medical equipment or your on-call carer or your precious loved one who comes to visit”.

“Follow our governmental guidelines: live a long and healthy life but be aware that this will inevitably cause old-age at which point we will not be able to afford to properly care for you”.

Open Letter to my Carers

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Dear ladies,
I want everybody to know how valuable and vital your work is to me: hard work, and so much more. You are amazing, it is people like you, who care for the vulnerable people in our society and then go home and run a household and a family, who make the world go round. Without the hard and dedicated work of people like you this world would stop functioning. I am so grateful.

Thank you for giving me space when I am grumpy first thing in the morning; thank you for being patient as I can’t decide what to wear; thank you for having ‘seen it all before’ as I share something embarrassingly personal with you; thank you for battling with my heavy wheelchair whilst still smiling; thank you for having a laugh with me; thank you for being discreetly understanding when I need you to arrive an hour later in the morning due to a ‘gentleman guest’; thank you for remembering how I like my pillows arranged; thank you for being a shoulder to cry on; thank you for taking the pressure off my mum and dad; thank you for supporting me and staying with me when I had to change your payment system due to a cock-up at the benefits department; thank you for enabling me to still live a normal life!!!

You deserve so much more remuneration than I am ‘entitled’ to give you according to the government. You help to keep us all going and I wish your amazing work could be more recognised.

Not all of it, all at once.

I often put pressure on myself to make one big huge change. For example, this week, I have been avoiding writing my blog because I didn’t feel as though I particularly understood or felt entitled to write about global current affairs. Also, I keep trying to start my novel but I am already convinced that writing a whole novel will be pretty taxing. The key must be to take everything step-by-step, news story by news story as opposed to hoping for a universal grasp of politics past and present. To take it chapter by chapter as opposed to aiming to make one big world-changing gesture. Anybody who thinks they can control the whole thing rather than recognise that they are only a part of the whole is quite delusional and should not be a leader of people.

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