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2013 was somewhat of a roller coaster year for me. In many ways, some fabulous experiences and memories to treasure; like succeeding in getting myself and Freya to Heathrow Airport and onto a plane (Freya’s first experience) over to Sweden and then onto a small island to meet up with my Husband and friends for one outstanding week.
Freya is a beautiful nine year old with a complex mix of diagnoses; including A.D.H.D, D.C.D (previously Dyspraxia), sensory processing difficulties and speech and language delay. So with this in mind, the trip was somewhat of a challenge, but we both rose to it!
Going back to other periods in the year, the ‘ride’ was not so enjoyable……Freya’s behaviour can be very challenging and she needs a lot of one to one support. To keep up with all that this requires, you need to be in ‘tip top’ condition, both in body and in mind. Most of the time I am fine. I tick along, keeping up with the conveyor belt of daily life, but now and again I struggle with periods of depression and anxiety. That’s when time’s become a bit tough.
One particular occasion last year, I was struggling. I turned up at the Escape office to pay for some trips we were due to go on…….That was it! One room of friendly, understanding faces (Abbey, Cathy & Sara), and it all came out.
They sat me down, with a cup of tea. They listened and talked through possible support, contacting Compass Carers on my behalf, discussing a Carer’s Assessment as well as other things I hadn’t thought about. And, OK, the depression didn’t miraculously lift, but the weight and pressure that I had been feeling, definitely decreased and enabled me to carry on and get some other support in place.
(It all sounds very over dramatic, as I reflect on what I’ve just written, but actually these times, that I’m sure will resonate with others of you, ARE very dramatic, traumatic and tough, when you’re scrabbling away in the midst of them.)
Well, because I realise now that being a part of the Escape ‘family’, isn’t merely what you get from the fabulous trips, events and socials. It is as much about the other stuff…………the person at the end of the phone for advice or support; or the opportunity for a chat and a cuppa; the friendly, supportive faces of other member families/staff, who don’t bat an eyelid when your child is having a melt down; meeting and developing friendships with others who share similar experiences and overall, knowing that you are not alone.