Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
I care I really do. I care when I see those that feel lost and alone, I care about those that I see racked with pain be it physically or mentally. I care for those that are struggling each day just to be here, just to keep going. I care when I see that look of despair in their eyes, tears that are desperate to fall and shoulders heavy with the burdens carried. I care too when I see those that wear the mask of strength, that downplay the battles they have fought and the pain they sometimes still suffer.
I care because Ive been there too, Ive felt alone, lost in a sea of turmoil and anguish. I have had those eyes full of despair, held back tears and wore the mask of strength to face the world. Somedays I still do. But I also know something else, that unless we all care, unless we all work together nothing will change, nothing will get better.
This week I attended the National maternity Review event for those that have experienced complications in pregnancy or had a baby in NICU, it was an important event to me, that I hope will mean a change to families and the care that they receive. The event re-enforced two things for me. That its important that I care, that I can make a difference, that I can make things better, and that while at times I get frustrated at the systems, the processes and also that some don’t seem to care or see the suffering of others, that I am fortunate to know amazing people, that out of their pain, care too and are trying to make things better.
Sometimes I feel like I am small, and I doubt that I mean anything in the grand scheme of things. I struggle to speak up, to voice my thoughts and get easily intimidated. Sometimes even when I do try I can get beaten down by those more stronger than me in words and station. But I do care, so I steadied my trembling voice and spoke up about the help that I know families need, both by sharing my experience and by putting across what I see families struggling with in my job. I was listened to, my views, my thoughts, what I had been through were valued. To see that I was able to make others see what they previously had not was so emotional. To leave and know that in some way if it is small i may have made a difference for others made me realise that you don’t have to be important or high up to achieve good you just have to care, you just have to want to be the change and then try.
I wont lie, the event at the national maternity review was hard, very hard. Like Im sure others there, to talk about that has happened to you and how it has affected your life was hard. To be honest I nearly didn’t go, the whole morning I felt sick with nerves, I shook with fear and was unsure that I would find my voice. I doubted that my experience meant anything, that it would be discounted or that I would fail to put across the things I wanted to say. But as I sat there with the others, bravely too sharing the hard times they have been through, I knew that I had to speak up. I care, I care that families are cared for in a way that makes the most difficult times bearable and that they get the support they need, I care that they don’t feel alone but know there are others to help them, hold their hand and support them along the way. I care too that still some families are not being cared for as they should and because of this they are being affected in unimaginable ways.
But something else struck me too, as I sat with two wonderful people that are part of Matexp too, Susanne and Helen, I saw them share their pain, they care too and in that we are kindred spirits. I saw bravery, I saw that while we all put on that mask of strength, we are still behind it struggling and fighting our silent battles. Battered by difficulties, scarred by experiences that left us feeling helpless and with little control we together are holding each others hand, strengthening each other and trying to make things better. As I listened to their stories I was hurting inside because we have all been there in the darkest of times, not knowing the way out or what the future will be. Yet despite that, we care, there is no other gain and I know that that is what drives us on no matter how hard it is sometimes. I also felt such deep admiration for them both because as I listened to their stories I saw that they despite being vulnerable, are strong too. To go through such awful things, to carry on and try to make a difference filled me with awe and I am so glad I know them and can call them both my friend. We gave each other the strength needed.
I also this week stood tall to make sure I voiced at work what is needed to support families at one of the most difficult times, the loss of a child. Sometimes we can be so caught up in whats right for everything else except those that really need to be considered. Sometimes I sit in meetings and feel like Im the only one that sees the people affected, when changes are proposed. All to often in the swim of processes, finances, staff needs and structural needs, we can forget the very people that we are there to care for and help. It was hard to speak up to a room full of those much higher than me, me a support worker trying to influence managers, service leads and directors and so I felt ecstatic that my views were taken into account and changed the course of the things planned. I left feeling very emotional knowing that hopefully by speaking up I have helped improve the care we give families for a long time to come. We can all play a part, we are never to small or unworthy, what matters is not who we are but the message we bear and the difference it will make to others.
So the question I want to ask is, Do you care? We all lament about the way things are in many walks of life. But if we care, truly care an awful lot, we can make things better. How? By being that voice, standing tall, making changes no matter how small. We can all do something even if its just to smile more and brighten someones day. It is hard, especially if you feel like your that small voice that no one will listen too, or maybe you doubt your worth, maybe you know that it will mean bringing up pain that you have endured. But together we can make a difference, we can hold each others hand and give each other the strength needed. Together we can things better for those that really need it, together we can show that we care.
Please help us make a difference;