I sincerely hope this post won’t be too depressing. Yet I feel it might be somehow a good thing to address this topic.

I had two attacks this weekend. The symptoms of my attacks vary a lot. This time, the mood-related symptoms seemed to hit me quite strongly. I found myself hardly being able to make any entries in my Black Lotus App in the RAK section because being bound to my bed unable to move anywhere, hardly being able to use electronic devices and also my husband being on a trip there was not a single person I could interact with and show my kindness to. At least that was how I felt.

I sent a message to my mum informing her that I was sick again and she sent me a beautiful picture of a flower bouquet from the garden to cheer me up. I thanked her for it and told her not to worry about me too much, and then I cried because I realised that was basically all socialising I was able to handle.

It made me incredibly sad. Not that self-pity kind of sad but I increasingly felt this devastating feeling of being useless despite the sincere wish of being a helpful and kind fellow human being. In fact, I feel it’s my duty to be that and felt like a failure.

Even being kind and showing compassion is somehow related to physical ableness in most situations and very often I feel like I am not doing enough. Or even worse my abilities are constantly fading away and with them my ability to actively show kindness and compassion. And I deeply regret that I did not use the former times of my physical ableness better.
I talk to many people with disabilities or chronic diseases due to my job and I know that many of them know this dilemma, too. Most of them understand the feeling of being left out from society due to being somehow disabled, they know the feeling of being dependent on others and therefore understand the necessity of kindness and helpfulness like no other. But unlike others, they very often lack the ability and the strength to be helpful and to show the kindness they really do want to give to others.

I remember a young woman with a spasticity whom I took care of years go. She was an educated integrative kindergarten teacher and her dream was to take care of children with disabilities. She was so motivated and full of energy. Then she fell into a severe depression because whatever effort she made to find a job, she got rejected.

Finally she was sent into early retirement at the age of 25, and everyone kept telling her “Why aren’t you happy about the money from the government?” She told me “Look, Sandra, why don’t they understand? I don’t want this money I wan’t to work like everyone else and earn my living. I want to be a worthy member of society. I am able to do that.” She was even rejected from voluntary work because of her “psychological problems” – her depression – which was ironic because after all they’ve created it somehow by not letting her work.

On some days I can make quite a few entries in the RAK section because I still have my normal functioning days. But what about people who don’t have these days and are constantly confronted with the fact that they can’t even perform the most simple acts of kindness due to physical limits? I know one should focus on the positive and the things that actually work but that’s sometimes easier said than done.

I am comforting myself that after all it’s probably not that important whether I am typing things into an app or not as long as the compassion I feel is sincere and honest even if I could not move one finger anymore and that it will somehow make a difference for the better.

 

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Sandra Pucher

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