Bad boy: listening to your ‘gut’

I was inspired to write this blogpost by This post written by A momma’s view as a guestblogger for Mental break in progress. For a while I was thinking about writing a blogpost about this subject, from my own experiences. But I didn’t start writing it actually down – I have this problem a lot. Reading this guestpost gave me a boost to write this post of my own.

As a PTSD ‘patient’ with tons of negative experiences with people, I’ve been taught that my gut feeling is a bad boy. “It’s too negative and wrong, always, don’t even think about listening to it for a single second.” I had to trust people more, ‘professionals’ said to me. They didn’t understand all the terrible situations I’ve been in, many didn’t even believe them.

I don’t think I’m the only one, who was told to ignore your gut. I feel like this has been going on in our society for a while now. We want to be rational, because rational is ‘good’. Rational is ‘true’. Feelings are too vague, you can’t rely on them. That’s what ‘they’ tell us. But this isn’t true.

Yes, I have PTSD and I have way too much anxiety about way too many ‘silly’ things, compared to a ‘normal’ person. Humans like to believe we live in complete safety. Now, I don’t want to scare anyone, but this isn’t true. We don’t need survival skills as much as we used to back in the day, but we still need them more or less depending on the situation you’re in.

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[Image of a drawn girl with a face on her dress saying: hey, I have a strong opinion about this. Next to the girl is the text: Listen to your gut].

I think we should shed some positive light on our gut feelings. Gut feelings safed countless people, prevented lots of bad situations. I’ve ignored my gut feeling too many times and it put me in very bad situations. Recently, I’ve been learning to listen to my feelings again, especially my gut.

I feel like I can already determine wether it’s my gut or pure anxiety speaking. Especially as people known with anxiety, it’s important to not just throw our gut away. We learn to  not listen to our feelings, because of our anxiety and because of that we can’t do certain things. This doesn’t mean that your emotions or feelings are always wrong. Sometimes, we need to be cautious and our body and mind can help us with determining those times.

I want to apologize to myself for discarding my gut for such a long time. For undergoing situations that I could have avoided, if I had listened. Still, I shouldn’t give myself a hard time now. I learned from it. Even though I have ‘mental’ issues, I should still trust my mind, I can still give it some credit. You can too.

Please, listen to your body and your mind. We need to have a fine balance between our rational and emotional side.

Photo source

Pushing a wheelchair 101

Pushing a wheelchair can be pretty hard. Not if you’re used to it, but then there are all these different wheelchairs. And it’s not made easier by the environment, or the people in it.

I often joke that lessons or flyers should be given to those who are wheelchair users themselves and the pushers. Or maybe a wheelchair driver’s license? There are so many things I’d like to tell you, which might help you with pushing a wheelchair. You don’t have to discover the wheel again, right? I’ve decided to split this up in multiple lessons.

So, welcome class, to pushing a wheelchair 101!

Important to know is that you shouldn’t be afraid. Usually, we wheelchair users are quite tolerant to wheelchair pushers. It can be fun to hang out with a wheelchair user. Listening to the user’s tips can be quite useful and I always recommend that. Even more, because it’s awful to be so dependant and when people will suddenly move you around and you have no idea what’s happening.
wheelchair_sideview-rigid-footrest

[Image of a drawn wheelchair with arrows to all the different parts, stating the names]

So my first tips:

1. There’s no shame in asking. Be honest if you’re unsure how the wheelchair works (there are soooo many different types!). Ask how to equip/(un)fold it etc. Ask what the other person prefers for speed (you could get dizzy or nauseous fast) and how to take bumps etc.
2. Pretend that you are 3 metres wide and 3 metres long. You are a lot bigger. If you’re unsure if it will fit, then don’t do it. Ask the user what he/she thinks, because he/she’s already more used to the sizes. Remember that wheelchairs also have these footrests, and those are really pointy and long. If you’re in a zoo for example, watch the fence, usually someone will flat my feet against it. And listen to the user’s ques. If you stop when you are in a beautiful spot to see the animal, there’s a big chance the user won’t be able to see it.
3. Look in front of you, in particular pay attention to the ground. There could be glass, or a tile which is lying loose, or dog poo (a wheelchair user might need to use his/her hands close to the wheels and touch them. And you might use a wheelchair inside buildings too).
4. There are bumps everywhere and every bump is too big. In the beginning always take them backwards. So you go first and pull the wheelchair. That’s a lot safer. If you go forwards and lift wrong, the user might fall out. Play it safe and take them backwards. Oh and very important: straight lines. Go towards a sidewalk, bump or ramp straight. Don’t take it from a different angle, because then you can’t get up well and it will stagger or the wheelchair will collapse.
5. Never let go of the wheelchair. Especially with hills. There are always these clowns who think it’s fun to run up and then let you go down. Never do this, even when you think it’s not so steep, or it’s quiet on the road. A wheelchair always has a deviation to the left or right. It won’t go straight, but will pump into a side and the user might fall out. It’s also almost impossible as an user to stop the wheelchair when it’s going fast. So someone has to grap you, or it might go really wrong. Just don’t do it, never. It’s really dangerous and not funny.

Last but not least, try to have fun. Especially in the city, it can be extremely irritating with all the people walking into you and cutting you off. But I’m always very happy and grateful when someone wants to take me. You can have a lot of fun with a wheelchair and mistakes are ok; you can always joke about it.

Photo source

Reblog: in Loving Memory.

Indisposed and Undiagnosed

*IMPORTANT POST*

It is through tears and sadness that I write this post tonight.

I received some devastating news, and have spent my past two days in a complete state of shock. I have gone to write this so many times, but I just don’t know what to say.

Back in Childcare, I became very close to a mother from Spain, as I taught her firstborn. She was my first friend at that centre, and her family became more like family to me.
When I fell ill in late 2014, she also fell ill to similar symptoms as I. I resigned, and we both spent time searching for answers and keeping in close contact. We forever spoke about how tough it was finding support for something that nobody understood, and how challenging it was to be told to “think positively” repeatedly when we were suffering in silence. We both understood each other on a level that not…

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