Day two of the new group and everyone seems to have enjoyed their first day, and though it left some feeling tired from being in a new routine, people commented on how nice it was to be able to talk to family, friends, and partners about what they had done with their day.
Today first thing we spent time getting to know each other a little more playing fun ice breaker exercises and then Shirley Maxwell, (Epilepsy Connections’ Executive Director) popped along to introduce herself and meet everyone.
The rest of the day was spent considering the difference between
“What is important TO me” – the people, places, possession, routines that might seem small to other people, but which are essential to us, our quality of life, our well being and how we can cope with challenges in day to day life
“What is important FOR me” – the things that are essential to us because of commitments to other people (family, partners, children) or the things we need to keep us well and safe (for example, Anti Epilepsy Drugs)
There was a lot of discussion about how to manage the balance between these, so that we can maintain/extend our independence and personal needs versus managing specific risks that might come from experiencing seizure activity.
For example, dealing with other peoples concern for us and needing to know we are safe versus not feeling that we have to reassure others all the time that we are safe and well.
A discussion about what support people need from others led people to sharing their feelings of loneliness and how hard they find it to either make friends, build conversations and connections, or deal with toxic people in their lives who don’t give back the same as they take.
There was a real sense of people connecting to each others experiences and seeing them being echoed while offering each other encouragement in how to begin to make positive changes.
A huge positive change the participants have made is that they have come along to the programme, and next week we will begin the process of thinking about goal setting.
Tomorrow we will be looking a bit more at self- management and what it might mean for them personally to be better able to do so, and the group will also get to meet a couple of the peer mentors who graduated from Group one only a couple of weeks ago.