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About illness, Financial hardship, Uncategorized

About the thing

Some of you may have seen the thing my friend has started. 

I wanted to talk a little bit more about this thing.

1. This thing is amazing. This thing makes me feel like the fight I have is worth it. It makes me feel like I stand with an army, when I’ve felt so alone.

2. I consider thing this a ‘pay it forward’ situation. When I am in a position to help others again – and I will be – I will do it. I will remember the difference kindness makes.

3. I consider myself accountable. This thing is to be used for necessities. When I worked for a charity, one of my most important communications roles was to ensure that our stakeholders knew what their help was achieving. You’re all my stakeholders. I know you trust me – otherwise you wouldn’t be participating. But I intend to keep you informed.

4. This thing is not illegal.

5. I’m referring to the thing as “the thing” because of how much I’m battling with this. As those of you who have offered me help before will know, my usual reaction is full spiny lizard phase. Often with adding hissing. I hate accepting this, because to me it’s another nail in the coffin of the woman I used to be. She didn’t need any support. But… look how she ended up. Basically, it comes down to this: I’m too sick to say no anymore. I’m too sick to stand alone. Maybe if I was on a benefit and not sick, I could manage. I could fight. I could try to find work. I could deal with it with energy and passion. I can’t do those things right now.

This is not the reality I wanted. The other day when I went out to WINZ, their office happens to be opposite the building I used to work in. I stood on the street, looking up at the window of my old office. I felt like I’d been kicked in the guts. I wanted so badly to be in there, it was an actual physical pain. I want my old life back, and it feels like it’s further and further away.

But, I must count myself lucky. If I hadn’t got sick, I may never have come to know many of you, and I may never have known the sheer amazingness of the friends I already had, who have stuck with me and supported me all along. Whether we’re old friends, or I’ve never met you ‘in real life’ (that phrase is starting to mean less and less), and we just speak on Twitter, that makes no difference to me. What does make a difference is who you are. I know who you are, because you’re there for me when I need you. Even if all you can do is say “<3”

I can’t say the money won’t mean anything, because it will. It really, really will. But the fact you are there is incalculable in value. The fact that you’re reading this is incalculable in value.

Thank you.

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About writehandedgirl

Sarah is a writer who is passionate about social justice, feminism, politics, and cats. She is a columnist and poet and currently lives in Nelson. You can follow Sarah on Twitter (@writehandedgirl) or read more of her writing at writehanded.org

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