So I saw this image on Facebook “7 Rules of Life” and thought it was extremely fitting at this point in my life, I could really relate to each ‘rule’. I hope you can too.
1) Make Peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
We all have a past, we all have things we have done that we are proud off, and not so proud off. When dad first got sick, it was extremely hard on the family. Dad became angry and aggressive. I got some of this aggression aimed at me. I know now that a lot of this was the Huntington’s working through his mind, and possibly anger with what was happening to him. There were many things said, and done but these are times I do not dwell on. Aside from my HD side of life, there are other things that have happened, family have let me down and so have health professionals who should have been there for me. I can’t carry this anger around with me, it wont do me any good and it won’t make the hurt I felt go away. I will put it behind me, because otherwise it will consume me.
2) What others think of you is none of your business.
A lot of the time people are kind and generous with their words, complimenting me on what I have accomplished and the care I provide for dad. Sometimes people can be nasty and hurtful!! I remember when I was about 16, I was told “you are a horrible daughter”. Don’t ask me why this was said to me, by a family friend, I can’t honestly remember. This person was a twat and I don’t honestly care what they said, I proved them wrong and love my father more than anyone! I would love to see if others would step up as high as my brother and I have done if they ended up in my shoes. Be proud of yourself and what you have done, if you are a carer then you deserve all the love and praise in the world. Huntington’s not only affects the patient, it also affects the loved ones of that patient. I expect people will always have an opinion of me, I can be extremely annoying at times, but I try my best and although I may not always get things right I will always have my dad’s best interests at heart.
3) Time heals almost everything, give it time.
As I said many things have happened that have knocked me down. I have not let these things get on top of me, apart from two years ago when I needed anti depressants to help me. There is nothing wrong with asking for help!! Time can be a great healer, I forgave the family members who have shit on me, I will never forget what they said and done but I will move on from it. I will be the bigger person. To the health professionals who let me down, I guess you just aren’t very good at your job! I hope others coming along behind me don’t incur the same treatment my family and I received. Staying angry at these people will not help me, it won’t make me any happier and revenge is something that needs to be left in the movies.
4) Don’t compare your life to others and don’t judge them. You have no idea what their journey is all about. No two people live the same life, no two Huntington patients will experience the exact same symptoms and no two carers will experience the same challenges. We don’t know what goes on behind closed doors and we shouldn’t compare our lives to those around us. I may be watching my father deteriorate and slowly loose him but friends of mine have sadly lost their parents already, how can we determine which is worse? How can we compare these two situations? 5) Stop thinking too much, it’s alright not to know the answers. They will come when you least expect it. I am literally obsessed with making plans and lists, but sometimes you cant always make a plan and stick to it, things change and plans don’t always work out. I feel like I always had to be organized and know everything was going to work out how I planned. I didn’t have time for mistakes. Working part time, looking after dad and either studying in University or for my A levels meant I needed to know what was happening and when. Things aren’t as bad know I have days where I can just wake up and relax and see what that day brings, these are my favourite. Try not to panic when plans don’t always work out, mine didn’t and I survived.
6) No one is in charge of your happiness, except you.
This is something I have recently realised; you need to do things that make you happy. Yes, this can be hard when you’re working full time, caring for someone or at University. Maybe you do all three of these things and raise a family, but make time. Time for you, weather it’s once a week or once a month, why not get to girls/guys together for drinks, or a chick flick!! Join a gym or group like drama or hens/mens shed. I finished University this summer and it felt amazing! When I was finishing Uni I turned into a we hermit trying to get coursework done and study for exams! Since I finished I have been enjoying myself every chance I have got! I joined Belturbet Drama society which is an amazing group of people, we were on stage four nights a week during the Belturbet Festival and I enjoyed every minute of it. I have been to family weddings, moved house and decorated my new house, have had amazing nights out and spent time with family.
7) Smile. You don’t own all the problems in the world. Always smile, I remember in high school a girl did not like me!! And we ended up in a full blow fight!! I stood and smiled at her while she called me every name under the sun! This pissed her off, more that if I had of called her a million names I could have thought of! Weather your smiling to piss someone off, smiling because you have accomplished something amazing or smiling because you get to spend time with your loved one, in my case a cup of tea with dad. Remember to smile.
Thanks everyone for reading let me know what you think, remember to check out my Facebook page and subscribe to #imnotdrunk. Remember if there is anything you would like to ask or any questions you might have, just get in contact.