What’s It All For?

Everything is a struggle again. All the juggling, dealing with the on going stress of the problems I’m not writing about on here, trying to put my positive face on in public. The weeks slide by without progress or resolution. I feel my family has been abandoned, and I know so well that I’m not the only one.

And if I can’t write about the only topic that consumes my thoughts, how can I write at all?

I just haven’t got the heart to write yet another cheery post about our Easter outings. I planned to, I really did. I even took the photos and saved them in a little folder on my desktop. All ready to go. I might even give you a sneak peak later.

I was brought up to believe that I could follow my dreams, achieve whatever I wanted if I was determined enough, and of course those beliefs were backed up with the support of a cradle to grave welfare state: you paid into it when you were working, and used the services when you needed them. You earned enough to be able to buy a house, you could get a mortgage because your job was permanent. It may have been pensionable too. The security this gave people of my generation is impossible to overstate. But even for us, it’s starting to falling apart, just as many of us need the services we thought we were funding through our taxes when we were younger.

Perhaps it’s better that my children have learned the hard way that life is mean, life is tough, and you have to make your own luck, that the world is becoming a place where one needy group fights another for scarce resources and publicity. Except that resources are not scarce at all. The world is more wealthy than it’s ever been. But those who have the wealth are reluctant to share it with others.

I wish I could accept my life with grace, as so many others do who are dealing with far more difficult situations, and accept that it may not change, because that’s the way the future looks. But I was always greedy, I always wanted more out of life. More and then MORE again 😀. But it feels as though I’m getting less and less, that I’m trapped in a cage, partly of my own making. Yet people still ask me where I’m going on my holidays, even though I haven’t had a foreign holiday since 1996 (not a typo). People still ask me about respite, even though my disabled daughter has had only a handful of days over the years and none since 2015. My other qualifying child has never had respite. People still ask me how work is going, even though I lost the job I loved during the Economic Crash in 2008. People assume I get lots of support, yet the last time I felt that someone was really sharing the load was summer 2011 during a weekend at my Dad’s house before he succumbed to his final illness. Life is about to get trickier too, as my eldest and only non-disabled child begins a new job away in two weeks, though she may be home at weekends.

So I am finding everything very difficult once again, but I didn’t want this blog to become a moanfest. There are too many mixed messages on mental health for me to feel comfortable sharing my worries all the time:

Avoid negativity, they say: and I don’t want you to feel you have to avoid my blog.

Cut negative people out of your life, they say: yet I would hate for my friends to feel they had to do that to me.

Tell someone your problems, they say: yet even counsellors need counselling to cope with what they hear from clients, so who would want to burden their friends?

I heard a desperate woman on the radio in January who was facing repossession of her home and she told no one of her plight, “because everyone has their problems”.

Yet we’re told it’s good to talk…

Some people manage to talk about their problems in a way that makes you feel sympathetic, makes you feel privileged that they chose you as a confidante. Some don’t: I’ve called it emotional dumping, when someone pours out all their problems to you, and they feel better afterwards, but leave you feeling stressed and exhausted. Though airing my problems usually makes me feel worse. Except on here, for reasons I don’t understand.

The Government tells us to eat healthily, take exercise, switch off our phones etc as though our mental health is entirely within our control, and basically our responsibility. In fact many people struggle with mental health issues as a result of Government policy. Medication and counselling are pushed on people, yet they just deal with the symptoms, not the cause, which is often the lack of state services and support!

All I can do is keep going, doing lots of self care, even when I don’t feel like it, even when it feels like just one more thing on the desperately long ‘to do’ list. Even when I wonder why I am bothering at all.

So what’s it all for? I’m lucky that my disabled daughter’s zest for life, and love for those who love her give me a reasons to drag my weary ass out of bed every day. Because I am tired, physically, mentally and emotionally. But you’d keep going too, wouldn’t you, for this?

Bronwen in Farmleigh 2018

 

 

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9 thoughts on “What’s It All For?

  1. Urgh, I don’t have the words for this. I so wish we could do better as a society to be a fair and inclusive place for all. I do think someday we will. It’s of little comfort to you (I know!) but you continually shine a light on how we can do better. Even when you don’t feel like it, you find the words to articulate your struggle in such an eloquent way. Much love to you and your wonderful family.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are most certainly not being greedy, it’s unreasonable to expect one person to cope when, in the absence of that underpaid and overworked person, a highly paid team (made up of people who would get regular time off) would have to take over. 💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, and in fact it’s the one thing in my favour: in that the health service is likely to provide help because it’s desperate for me to continue in this role, as the alternative would be so costly!

      Like

  3. I am amazed that more of your posts aren’t like this one. Having followed you blog for many years now, I have seen how how difficult it must be to do it all on your own and how little respite or help you’ve had. And your blogs almost certainly only told a fraction of it. This can’t go on forever, or even for much longer. How can we help? Who can we write to? What publicity can we drum up? I’m sorry I’m not nearer so that I could come round and give you some real support. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment is why I value the blogging community so much: You’ve always provided great support and are one of many people who have got an insight into our lives, as I have into yours – and I’ve learned so much from you too. Thank you once again for offering to help, and if I feel that the online community can do something, I won’t hesitate to ask xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We all need to offload from time to time. You have such a positive outlook and always find something positive within your week to share with us. You are human, doing a super human role and yes that beautiful smile from B must give you more than wings to carry on. You are not a moaner, you are up against it with the health and social care system and funding. You fight on even when you are so tired, physically and emotionally. You are a beacon of light, an inspiration and a voice for those who don’t speak out. For some reason blogging is therapeutic, you can share your feelings, your emotions and not feel you are draining your friends. Keep writing, keep sharing and we are here to support and help in whatever way we can. Sometimes just letting it out helps xx

    Liked by 1 person

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