Friday, March 22, 2013

Dealing With Change - Support and Counselling

I sit in a comfortable chair and wait my turn, it is story time but the tales are personal, everyone listens; nods give silent encouragement. 

Hello my name is Dawn, I had surgery for a meningioma in 2008.... 

Telling my story helps lift the burden, others in the room have malignant tumours, our journeys are different but experiences are shared. 

I heard about these 'Hammer Out' Support Group Meetings in 2009 over a year into my journey.  I wish I had known earlier. 

Returning to work a year after surgery I expected the old Dawn to reappear. But I couldn't carry a drink and meeting doors for myself with sticks and equipment... concentrate as long as I used to. The four hour journey on public transport left my battery in negative equity. Behind closed doors the hidden tears flowed.

My world had shattered into tiny pieces.

Support wears many cloaks, it had flowed at home but the miracle glue was missing.  The Hammer Our Support Group offered some of the ingredients...a sling...which helps me carry the weight of coping as we share the 'Know How' part of our journeys:

        I have a sleep in the the day before and day after a shopping trip...have
      had rails fitted in the shower...use a bath seat...have applied for a grant to fit a wet 
      room...found an insurance company who provides cover for people with our  
      condition...found a lovely hotel with facilities for the disabled...

The counsellors working with Hammer Out provide more ingredients as they help me to develop skills to reshuffle the fragments of my life...until I feel whole again. I now accept that there is more to life than work...that asking for help and support is a strength...I should set smaller goals and enjoy the journey...accept failure, learn from it and move on.

On my 40th birthday the best gift was choosing to climb Cadyr Idris in Wales, wind in my hair, freedom dancing in my heart.


I aimed to climb a mountain on my 50th birthday  .... but low fuel levels and wobbly legs persuade me otherwise. My snail pace and shorter walks reward me with undiscovered alley ways and the chance to see spring flowers burst free of the soil.

Life can either be accepted or changed, if it is not accepted it must be changed, if it cannot be changed then it must be accepted