J and C joined us for the first time. So everyone introduced themselves with their name and they shared something about themselves.
J said that she had had a stroke leaving her with very little movement in her left-sided limbs. She said that she gets frustrated and upset on those frequent occasions when she is given advice that doesn’t make sense to her. She said that her husband often tells her that she is going the wrong way about things. She said that she was coming to the group for more understanding and to get bits of information/guidance that she can use.
C said that she had had a head injury in Holland many years ago. She said that the rehabilitation in Holland was excellent and it was a shock when she discovered that she would get very little help when she returned to the UK 3 months later. She said that she took a very positive approach and found ways of managing the after-effects of her injury. She said that she was looking for a bit of support as she has been having more difficulties of late. She came to the meeting to see whether it might make some contribution there.
This started a discussion where everyone else joined in and described symptoms they had that they generally kept to themselves. After about 30 minutes of this, I began to wonder whether talking about symptoms might bring them down because they might feel hopeless because they had all these awful symptoms. So, I shared that concern adding that I was worrying about the possibility that talking in this way would leave them feeling worse after the meeting than they had been felt before it.
Everyone reassured me that did not need to be concerned. They said that they had just met 2 new members. They wanted to connect with them and talking about common symptoms is part of that process. They also felt it was so good to be free to talk about their various challenges without anyone judging them and/or telling them they ought to be more positive and/or trying to educate them in (what their self-appointed tutor believed was) the correct way of thinking.
C said that she’s become quite political. She’s a member of a group that believes in standing up for the rights of people with disabilities. She invited everyone that is interested to join that group.
The next meeting will be at 1.15pm on Monday 9th July 2018 in Llewellyn Hall, Swansea Road, SA4 9AQ (Take the Gorseinon exit from Junction 47 of the M4, turn first left at the next roundabout, and Llewellyn Hall is almost on the immediate left, next to the church).