Getting to know me and you

It appears I am having one of my do anything else I can find to do rather than what I should be doing. I woke early this morning, just before 6 am in pain and bursting for the loo, the second was easily fixed but the first just wouldn’t go away. I even sat in the kitchen and had a cig to see if it would ease simply by being in a different position, but it didn’t. My day therefore started far sooner than it should have, but despite that I am sat here behind time, the extra has been frittered away, doing absolutely nothing of importance. I am going to remover Google from being one of the pages that automatically open when I start up, it is just too much of a temptation, I keep seeing it and heading off doing searches for nothing. On the other hand I actually did one search today that I think is one of the best ideas I have heard in years, Adam mentioned it to me but he didn’t know the details or even if it is already here in the UK, well it has. Apparently it began in Italy but is moving around the world quite quickly, the idea is that if you are out and buy yourself a coffee, you can ask for another to be a “Suspended Coffee” and you will then pay for both. That coffee that you didn’t have is held suspended until a homeless person comes in and asked if there is one available, if so they are given it for free. So far in the UK I know that Starbucks have sort of joined in, they will not give a hot drink to a homeless person in their store, but they will donate the coffee to the charity Oasis, who then pass it on. I know that it may simply be that I didn’t know about it because I’m not out and about, but I think it is a brilliant idea and one I hope is eventually embraced totally by more and more café’s and restaurants. If you’d like to read more here is the “UK Suspended” http://www.facebook.com/suspendedcoffeesuk Years ago I used to do something similar as I didn’t believe in handing money to beggars, I would ask them if they would like a beefburger or a hot drink from what ever food outlet was near, then I would buy it and give it to them myself. I guess I didn’t give money for the same reason most people don’t want to hand over cash, we all believe it will be spent on alcohol or drugs, an assumption that I now think was so wrong of me for the majority. People find themselves on the street for a million reasons, most have to do far more with simple lose of work and then their home, than diving head first in to addiction.

I really hate it at time when I look back on my own life and see just how wrong my thinking was on so many subject, some are totally explainable as I was to young to think beyond what I thought I was seeing right in front of me. I know 100% that it is my health that has eventually taught me far more than my education or the process of growing up. It is so counterintuitive that being separated from people, has actually taught me more about them than being around them daily ever did. Ask anyone to give your a walk through of the progression of their illness and at every point they will also be able to tell you without thought, how they were treated by those around them. Just seeing how one by one they disappear as you move further away from the person they knew, through all the steps of becoming disabled, to totally vanished when you make it to housebound, people also vanish totally as well. More than that, you also learn a hell of a lot about yourself, all your own values change and slowly you change with them, you recognise what is bad about you and what is good and how to work with both. You learn quickly where your true strengths are, what you can and can’t manage, both physically or mentally. Self reliance grows, it grows as their is little that anyone else can do to help you. At the start you trust and worship your doctors, they are the gods who will make you well, in the middle your faith is waning but there is still a small hope that something will change, then suddenly, suddenly you start doing anything to not see them at all, just get the tablets and run, well maybe not run, but tablet work their talking does nothing.

Chronic illness takes away but also gives, to me the greatest gift it has given is the time to learn, to learn about people from all I have see through my life, I now have the time to work it all out, to see them all for what they are and to truly know what is below the façade, as we all wear one. You also have time to learn about the world to watch documentaries about subjects you thought would be boring and find if you just listen there is so much information you never knew. I find myself now housebound with for the first time in my life, armed with all the things I had puzzled over, now solved and things I never thought useful, now enjoyed. Life really does happen back to front, ‘if only’s’ don’t count I know, but if only I had know then, what I know now. We all change everyday of our lives, but being ill, I believe has changed me far more than I would have done if I had been just like everyone else. I have had the time to get to know me and my world, something that without bad health, I simply wouldn’t have had the time to, as I said, illness isn’t all bad.

3 thoughts on “Getting to know me and you

  1. Dear Pam. I’ve had Parkinson’s for 20 years now. Fortunately, I have the constitution of a moose, so progression has been slow. Strong bodies run in my family. My uncle is 90 and a WW2 combat vet. His handshake can still crush anyone’s and he plays tennis 3x/week, albeit slowly and creakily. I’ve found people pulling away from me too. When diagnosed, my ex made it clear she was not going to get involved with ‘my problem’ and forced the children out of my life. I have met a wonderful woman who is as good as my ex was toxic. Hang in there – check out my book – I think it will uplift you and make you laugh. You deserve it. Andrew Alan Bogner (aabogner on twitter)

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  2. it is so true that illness isnt all bad as it does give you time time to investigate and explore all the things that you have pondered but never got round to thinking about solving. I often wonder what it would be like if we didnt have the World wide web and internet and we still had the same illnesses etc what we would do and would things be worse I think they would as at least we can still express ourselves all be it in a more limited way via the internet. It is a wonderful lifeline isnt it. I love the idea of suspended coffee etc that is an excellent idea I just wonder how homeless people are made aware of it?

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