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Looking after ourselves

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Finding Thankfulness

 

I haven't been on the forums too much lately; I've been more focused on myself. After realising how much my partner's mental ill health affected me, and realising my own mental ill health I recognised that it was time to heal. I think there is still such a strong stigma around mental health, and a lot of expectation that people should "sweep it under the rug" and return to a "normal" life or to how life was before an episode or diagnosis. I accept that life will never be the way it was before, but I do not accept that mental ill health has to confine us.

 

I found a great anology in one of my favourite plants. When I first bought it, my orchid was happy enough, it was healthy and had a couple of flowers. After the last flower fell, the plant was bare and it was ugly. The orchid was forgotten about for a while, kept in the dark and not watered. One day I saw it and was surprised it was still alive (barely). I knew that if I wanted it to flower again, I'd have to cut off part of the old stem. I was unsure if it would work, but I cut the stem. I put the orchid in a new pot, gave it some light and watered it carefully. I thought it might come back half as good as it was before; if I was lucky. But sure enough, with a little bit of love, the orchid came back, and it was better than it ever was before. The stem still bears a scar from where I cut it off, but that's what allowed the orchid to flower again. Because I cut off the stem, the orchid could grow in a new direction, and flower like never before.

 

Orchid 1.jpgBeforeOrchid 2.jpgNow

 

 

My orchid's story is an anlogy of what my partner and I went through. We went through times where it was ugly, he was struggling to stay alive. We had to let some dreams go, and let our lives go in a different direction to how we had planned. But now we are thriving. Stronger than I had ever imagined, more thankful for every blessing that we have. Sure, we're both still scarred from when he was really unwell, and there are times where his symptoms are tough, but we are alive.

 

 

I'm thankful that I now know his triggers. I can help him be aware of what's happening and help reduce the triggers (such as stress) to reduce his symptoms. He can trust me to always have his back.

 

I'm thankful that we had to talk about things that are difficult to talk about, because now we are more open with each other. I know him on a different level; I know his deepest pains and regrets and his hardest moments. I know what makes him himself. I know the things that have led to his mental ill health. And I've been more open with him about my struggles. We trust each other so much that we can be open to each other in a way we never were before.

 

I'm thankful that we went through hard moments together. We don't really fight about anything, because it's nothing compared to what we've been through. Arguments seem so inconsequential when we're just thankful to be alive.

 

I'm thankful that I've seen him at his lowest, because although it was tough, now I see how far he has come and I am so proud of him. I've seen how strong and determined he is, and I'm so lucky to have seen that. I would never have had to see that side if it weren't for his mental ill health.

 

I'm thankful that he had to utilise his whole support team, because now he knows how many people love him and have his back. He knows everyone's so proud of him. Even "small" achievements that might be seen as a given to others (such as passing his units at uni), are really big achievements for him. Instead of focusing on what he hasn't achieved, everyone's proud of what he has achieved, because they know how hard it is for him.

 

I know that we won't be able to live together for a while, that he may never be able to work full time, that he will most likely be on medcation for the rest of his life, he'll deal with symptoms and side effects for the rest of his life. I know he might not get that dream job he wanted, we might not get the dream house that we wanted, or travel as much as we wanted. I know there will be times that he's really unwell again, and that it will be really tough, tougher than it has been so far. I know there will be more dreams we let go of, more compromises we'll make, more struggles we'll go through. But at the moment, none of that matters. We take it day by day. We are thankful for each blessing, for each little bit of travel we do, for each moment together, for each achievement he makes, for each improvement he makes. We're living at a slower pace but that's fine by me, it gives me more to be thankful for.

 

Heart Plant Lady xxx

 

8 REPLIES 8

Re: Finding Thankfulness

thank you @PlantLady Heart

soo lovely to see you here again my friend 

and thank you for your story xxx

he may never be able to work full time, that he will most likely be on medcation for the rest of his life,--- same here with my mr shaz even ough he tries to stop taking his meds but he is soon back on that again

your story reminds me of the succulent i have , it did not look good , I thought will i leave it in the condition it is now or will i repot it

well I ended up re potting it and mr shaz said today my succulent had two new leaves on it -- wow

@Faith-and-Hope, @Darcy , @Determined , @Smc , @Adge , @Sherry 

Re: Finding Thankfulness

Hi @PlantLady and @Shaz51 

 

Cant read much atm

Stressed

My orchids are not flowering yet. I have 2 types.

There is so much we can learn about human beings from the plant world.  We are not just animals ...

 

Re: Finding Thankfulness

Hi @Shaz51 

it's good to be back on Smiley Happy

 

thank you for your support Heart  I hope Mr Shaz is doing well xx

 

Sounds like your succulent is growing happily, hopefully a sign of more good things to comeSmiley Very Happy

 

 

Re: Finding Thankfulness

Hi @Appleblossom 

 

sorry to hear that xx hope you're feeling better soon

 

Good luck with the orchids, you'll have to share some photos when they do flower Smiley Happy What types are they?

 

I like the way you think, I agree and I think we could all do with spending a bit more time in nature, (at the park or beach etc.)  just enjoying the beauty in the world around us.

Re: Finding Thankfulness

@PlantLady, @Appleblossom 

my mr shaz would love to spend more time in the forest , by a creek taking photos and relaxing xx

@Darcy,

Re: Finding Thankfulness

Is good finding the beautiful in the day. We've had an odd one of all sorts here, but "what's special" included a nice lunch with Hubby, some beautiful scenery. Cold blustery end of winter squalls as the daffodils in peoples' gardens remind us that spring is just about here. Beautiful towns with fascinating old buildings of stone, brick or timber... friendly strangers.

Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 7.23.08 pm.png

Re: Finding Thankfulness

Thank you @PlantLady 

It is going to take time.

Smiley Happy

@Shaz51 

Smiley Happy

Re: Finding Thankfulness

Thankyou @PlantLady , I love that orchaid analogy. 

 

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