Christine's story

Sometimes life gets in the way and if we’re busy we actually forget what we have done or how we felt after doing an activity or even the outcome of our actions. So this is why I started journaling this year. I began more out of interest than anything else to see if I could establish a pattern as to how my thoughts work and how I manage and react to events in my life, including all events, happy, sad, work or home related, family, faith and friends.

I’m unsure if lockdown has affected my memory, hope not, but each day, weeks and months are rolling into one and sometimes I forget what I did with my time. I do hear my friends say the same thing so then I don’t feel so bad. This is where journaling has been helpful to me. Once every few weeks I read and re-read what I have written. After doing this last week one word that I used often was struggle.

I asked myself why was I using this word so often and my reply was it’s because I do struggle at times and writing it down helps me to process the reason in my mind and work towards a solution to enable me to move on.

There are of course many different struggles in life, ones that have never touched me and mine may have not touched others, but one thing is certain particularly this year with lockdown, isolation has been a struggle for many. When I look at the word struggle I feel I have two options, to dwell on it and make myself miserable or accept it’s there and deal with it and learn from it. The more I practice dealing with the struggle it becomes less and less as I have learned to focus on accepting what’s going on and it becomes less burdensome, as Angus, Peer Volunteer says, “it is what it is”, this puts it into perspective for me.

Writing it down helps me to process the reason in my mind and work towards a solution to enable me to move on.

I often use the image in my mind of a swimmer, if they are experienced they will trust the water to carry them along but the inexperienced swimmer will struggle against the very thing which would help them if only they would stop struggling. This image will pause the thoughts in my mind and allow me to trust that all will be well. I also focus on that it will pass. Concentrate on what is happening at the moment, trying not to think of the future. My faith is important to me and prayer calms my thoughts and brings rest to my soul. In conclusion I will tell you about an elderly lady that I visit. One day we were chatting about WW2 and the after effects of the war. There was a lot of depression in the community due to loss of life. I asked her how did people cope mentally after such a major event and her reply was, people were kind to each other, they understood each other and took time to care, if one person had extra food in the house they would give it to a house with a big family, we all helped each other

Her words resonate with me often as I reflect on them and I would like to practice those special skills to those I meet and care for. Take care everyone.

Christine accessed support from our Western Isles NOVA team. Huge thanks to her for sharing her story with us.

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