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From whence cometh your help? Tuesday August 18, 2015

Most of my life I have attended some form of worship, Catholic, High Anglican, Gospel Hall. But, do I believe in God? I cannot answer. Yet, in my darkest hours, someone has been there. This morning, the anthem on Morning Worship was 'When I needed a neighbour were your there?' And, wow, I listened.

I was classified manic depressive for years, and escaped. Now, living with my husband's Alzheimer's disease I am into two big 'D's', despair and defeat. Often, in tears, I gaze at the flowers and the birds frantic to feed fledglings and I do say, 'God give me strength'. Perhaps I have a stubborn nature, or pull myself up by my boot straps, and on I go. But, not alone.

Last night we had struggled to church, in pouring rain, then on to a restaurant, less than 100 metres. My husband has decided he cannot walk, and we shuffled along. Someone ran up behind us 'When you've finished, come and fetch me and I'll take you home in the car'. A neighbour.

I have an honorary grandson helping me sort out our new abode – a neighbour. All around neighbours are praying for us – which means they are thinking about us daily.

When our third son, aged four, was desperately ill and looked like losing a leg, our then neighbour abandoned his business for a day and followed the ambulance, picking up the bits of me and giving real succour.

As a teen-ager, parents separated, village turned against us, father abroad, a neighbour took a terrified teenager in and let me sleep in an armchair each night till my father returned.

A great current sadness is my oldest friend, suffering depression and thought to be suicidal. Her husband answers the phone, reads her letters, won't let her use their car. She is a devout Catholic. I cannot help her. Let her not be alone at this terrible time.

The Gardener
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Lex Tue, Aug 18th 2015 @ 5:17am

Thank neighbours for neighbours, dear Gardener... and perhaps thank God too. I know it is all very hard to understand. The truth may be that we are not alone. I know the truth definitely is that we don't have to be alone - there are many more neighbours out there than we realise but not many mind-readers. Sometimes these neighbours have to hear about or see our plight in order to help. Sending neighbourly love from my neck of the woods.

Debs Tue, Aug 18th 2015 @ 6:21am

I'm so moved by your words gardener, you are such a beautiful writer. And you are not alone, we are all behind you, sending love and strength. Keep reaching out, to real neighbours, virtual neighbours, friends, communities and other people going through a similar experience. Our strength as humans lies in our connection to each other so connect and let others help heal your pain. Sending all my love, Debs xxx

Dawn Tue, Aug 18th 2015 @ 7:51am

Dearest Gardner
Whenever I'm sad, lonely or just plain bored and fed up I read my bible, listen to worship music or watch a bible teaching DVD and I feel complete and the adverse feeling dissapears immediatly.
God is real, just press in, that's all you have to do.
Love Dawn xx

Hopeful One Tue, Aug 18th 2015 @ 7:55am

Hi Gardner- Oh my word! you have had so many life changing events to cope! But the truth is you are still standing and able to put it to us in your wonderful words. I did not understand what you meant by "escaping" manic depression. Does it mean you manage it or it was a incorrect diagnosis? I am sharing your journey as an Alzheimer carer and can say this- there is plenty of help around to give you respite for that is what you need on that journey. I found mine by joining the local Alzheimer group who gave me enormous support, practical help and empathy as they completely understood what I was going through. In the process I made lifelong friends. My wife is now in a nursing home and I am starting to rebuilt my life which was given up to the 24/7 nature of Alzheimer care.

Incidentaly, for fellow Moodscopers, I passed my level 3 Certificate in Counselling skills and have signed up for Level 4 beginning this September.

Cyber hugs and best of luck to you.

Caroline Tue, Aug 18th 2015 @ 9:04am

Hi HO, congratulations on passing your level 3 Certificate from all at Moodscope.

Ness Tue, Aug 18th 2015 @ 9:28am

Hi Gardener. Thank you for blog. I too am a person of faith. Sometimes the darkness contains more than words can express, sometimes its just dark.

Lex, I wish I knew how to reach out to others!

Di Tue, Aug 18th 2015 @ 9:34am

Dearest Gardener ~
Your words this fine morning are a balm for my loving yet sore & aching heart. You drive home the concepts of being our brother's keeper and of loving thy neighbour. The stories of gentle assistance from others lift us with encouragement.

You bring to mind a technique used in neurolinguistic programming (NLP) called "future pacing" ~ in this exercise you go forward in your mind a year or two or five ~ look back at today ~ ask yourself how you might wish you had handled this time in your life. If there are wishes for change, what stops you?

You've done well, my friend, with a stacked deck ~ you've risen and will rise again. Our depressive never-ending cocktail of self absorption becomes medicinal with service to others, as you point out. Impressive strength. I thank you for your shared experiences.

To Hopeful One: Hooray for your Level 3 Certification!

Bearofliddlebrain Tue, Aug 18th 2015 @ 9:42am

Chuffed to liddle mint balls for you HO! Absolutely brilliant to imagine what you have achieved whilst also caring for your dear wife.
Dearest Gardener,
What an incredible story you have told us today. My heart goes out to you, your husband and your friend. I live in Cambridgeshire...are you anywhere near? If you're within an hour of me, I would gladly come and help you out once a week so you can go out knowing someone is there to sit and be with your husband, or be with you whilst he is resting, or do some shopping etc...same goes for your friend. Will think of you often, Karen x x

Sheila Tue, Aug 18th 2015 @ 9:53am

Thank you all so much. The day and my garden (s) are brilliant. It's my turn for church flowers this week-end (have done them in churches In England, now France, for 50 years). They will be extra special, with a discreet little card in thanks to all my friends over so many years. The Gardener

susan Tue, Aug 18th 2015 @ 10:24am

Dearest Gardener, your words and struggles have always touched us so much. Bless you. I believe that we are not alone. We know so little about the grand scheme of things....but i believe that if a heartfelt earnest request for help goes up to the universe or to God or to whatever we wish to call that loving presence that surrounds us....and that if we truly believe we are being heard....than all kinds of amazing things happen. Help comes in various ways--a neighbour will call, a tailor-made radio programme will just suddenly come on, we see a rainbow and in an instant our spirits are lifted, etc. As for your suffering friend, i believe that the sending of prayers and unconditional love does help; your energy will get through to her. I am a Reiki Master and have so many proof stories that loving energy does indeed reach others. It is quite wonderful the way we all work together to heal each other. Be well. Enjoy the beauty of your flowers. susan xx

susan Tue, Aug 18th 2015 @ 10:26am

Hi Ho, i am impressed!! You used your painful experience to grow and now to help others. You'll be an awesome counsellor. Congratulations! susanxx

Nicole Tue, Aug 18th 2015 @ 5:58pm

I'm new on the blog, although I've been doing the graphs for a few months. It's back after a long remission, and I don't feel like I'm coping very well. I wrote a 'follow up' to the psalm 'from whence cometh my help..' years ago when at a very low ebb, and I was just thinking of it today and wondering from whence would my own help come. Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I read your blog this evening! My spirits are lifted just knowing that there is someone out there who knows and understands. So thank you for sharing, despite your own very real difficulties. I know I will get through it, I'm just not sure how yet, or how long it will be before some light starts to creep through the darkness. I do know, however, that nothing is wasted in this life, even our pain can be turned into good to help others, and I like to think I may have helped a few along the way but, for now, I am at the other end and in need of help and uplift. So, thank you again.

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