How am I?
That is a question that the answer to changes day by day, sometimes hour by hour. I can be reasonably upbeat one minute and really low the next.
I am not sure I can answer that in a way you will understand.
Those of you that follow my blogs will know I suffer from a progressive medical condition that has been progressing rather too fast these past few years. Every time I believe I have got my head around it and found a place of calmness and acceptance it changes again!
Add to my worries the current climate regarding the welfare system and all those changes and at times it just seems too much to bear.
I don't know how badly (if at all) I personally am going to be affected by these changes although it is looking likely that my ESA payments will stop in April as this Government in its wisdom and superior knowledge has deemed me fit to work after a year of these benefits!
So concerned was I by all the changes being thrown at me I had started to doubt myself,
was I truly disabled enough to still warrant this benefit?
Could I possibly do 'something' on the days when I wasn't too bad?
Had I perhaps misunderstood what progressive meant?
I posted a picture of one of my hands on twitter out of sheer desperation to be believed, how sad is that, no one should feel the need to justify themselves in that way and that is what has made me question why I am feeling this all so keenly.
The responses to the picture were all very kind, as I knew they would be, I am always among friends on twitter and it also led to some light hearted banter about what occupation I may be able to do when forced to work especially after my GP this week told me my hands dont work, i can barely walk,I am on high doses of pain Meds and in constant pain but she supposed I could get a job just talking, although the sex chat line I will NOT be following up. Lol
My GP also told me not to get stressed with it all and refer anyone who wants more information to her.
There is a part of me that still believes that common sense will prevail and I will be ok so if I think that why am I now so vocal on the social sites about what is happening?
Why don't I just wait and see?
Why get SO involved?
To explain that I will have to explain my character to you so bear with me,
I have always felt a connection with vulnerable, minority or disadvantaged groups.
I first noticed this when working for Social services many years ago, I worked with the elderly team and indeed led a small team of out of hours carers for a few years, I left this job primarily through my skin disease making me 'high risk' of MRSA at the time but I am sure the management were happy to see me go as I had realised I couldn't enforce some of the rules with my team members.
It was obvious that the time a carer spent with the elderly client was just as important for that client on a social level as a care level, often they wanted to talk, needed to see a kind friendly face. When we were told we were only allowed to spend 15 mins in each clients house I found this difficult to enforce as I felt we were doing these people a disservice by not being able to meet their emotional needs as well as their physical needs.
I discover people wanted to be listened to, really heard and I also discovered I was especially good at just that, I didn't just listen and understand I also 'felt' for them.
And so my counselling/psychology career was born.
I remember my tutor in the advanced counselling course telling me that I had an abundance of natural empathy, this she said couldn't ever be changed but it could be channelled.
So I channelled it, firstly into working with homeless people for many many years, then working with domestic abuse survivors and finally into private practice.
When I became too disabled to work even from home that empathy didn't leave me, it didn't just disappear, it's with me for life.
So when I see what is happening to others, when I read their despair, when I hear their distress and when I know what this government and the media are putting this group of people through I can't help but react, the fact that I am also part of this group makes it that much more poignant I suppose but it is also somewhat irrelevant as I am feeling and behaving in the way I always have and always will, with care and feeling for my fellow man.
I am no saint and certainly no hero and the empathy for others I have is somewhat of a burden at times, it must be lovely to think of and care just for yourself, think how stress free my life would be but I was made this way and I have a certain pride in what I have been able to achieve in the past.
So how am I?
I am as well as can be expected. Thanks.
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