Wednesday, 18 June 2008

H = Helping

Every day I log on to a charity website. This site saved my sanity when I was going through a rough time. I found other people who were experiencing the same thing, who could reassure me that I was not going mad, who could tell me I would get through it. I found an organisation set up after a young woman had died as a result of a misdiagnosis, full of compassion for those of us who experienced this medical trauma. I found an organisation backed up by the best medical research in the world, intent on teaching GPs and emergency room doctors the basics about this medical condition. I found information that helped me understand what had happened, why it had happened, what the treatment options were, and what the future might hold.

I found friends. There was safety in the anonymity at first, but our voices were clear, our personalities spoke through the internet’s series of tubes. So when I travelled to the UK, it was as if I'd known these special women for years.. Some of them travelled here. Friendships developed. Real friendships. I send their children birthday presents, send them NZ wine as wedding gifts, share their ups and their downs, and with their help I coped, and grew, I survived and yes, even prospered.

Most importantly, I found myself.

And now, every day I log on to that charity website, and see other women going through what I did. I find them young, vulnerable, terrified, angry, confused, despairing. I reassure them that they will get through this, that what they are experiencing is normal, and that it is not their fault. I listen to them, wipe their tears and hold them across the ether.

I realise how far I've come.

Helping others. It helps me too.

4 comments:

Bridgett said...

Lovely--especially you, for going back and continuing the role as helper after you'd been helped. So often in crisis, once we're through it, we move along as fast as we can.

Helen said...

Amazing that such connections can develop through the internet. Or maybe not so amazing. But wonderful anyways.

Deloney said...

You're a sweetheart to the hilt. The internet is cold but there are pockets of warmth.

Indigo Bunting said...

This one got me teary. And what B said--quite perceptive, that's so often the way it is.

The last letters of the word I have to type in to comment are nz today...