I fostered two cats, re-homed one and adopted the second (Titus). I then fostered a sick kitten (brain damage and damaged guts) and have been caring for him for the last 2 ½ months. I have taken him to the vets constantly, fed him meals he can handle (he cannot eat cat food), cleaned his bum and washed him when he was incontinent, and gave up my bathroom for him – see photo – which is still his bedroom. But I love him dearly, he is a bright, beautiful little chap. So there is my animal volunteering and it is ongoing.
Earlier on, my dad was discharged wrongly for age discrimination, so I have been dealing with his tribunal and dealings with the solicitor when we had one secured.
Dad then was diagnosed with heart disease and needed a triple heart bypass. Mum is generally horrible to him, so I took on the whole thing of learning about it all, taking him to all his appointments, tests and hospital stays, and because mum didn’t want a nurse to come round to their house, I did all that a nurse would do – change his pressure stockings and wash his legs and feet twice a week, do some cooking, shopping and other bits. It’s ongoing and I am still helping once a week now, as he has no car due to losing his job.
I am not complaining, and everyone who knows me will know I never compajust explaining why I haven’t done any other volunteering roles.
So, it was just volunteering for mental health left. Well, apart from writing my books, articles and campaigning for mental health and against stigma (voluntarily and without pay) I did apply to Rethink as a group co-ordinator, but they were far too busy to take me on, but I think I can tick that box anyway.
I am now going to go into group analysis as I have a lot of issues leftover, even now, and some old ones rearing their head that I have never spoken to anyone about or written about until this week. I have been in quite a state lately over some of it and am glad that no-one could see me last week. Group analysis is psychotherapy and I will be in the group for 18 months, so I do hope this will help me eradicate and deal with the last of my demons – the worst ones yet (physical, mental and possibly sexual abuse by family members). I am very nervous about the group and speaking out about my problems and memories, but I know it will help me. My depression and anxiety is at a peak, making me physically drained from panic, so it must do something.
At the same time, on Friday of next week, I begin my second year at college to learn ‘counselling skills’
So, I will be counsellor and the counselled – how odd! I might even write a book about that LOL
Hope you’ve enjoyed my update