I've been thinking a lot about advice lately. I've noticed that after things are very tough with Janey, and I write about it, a lot of friends and blog readers (and those categories overlap a good deal!) seem hesitant about offering advice. I never want to make anyone feel that way. People often say to me "I know I have no idea what it's like to being going through what you are going through". Well, that's true, but that's true for anything anyone is going through. None of us truly know what another person's life is like. I know that everyone has tough challenges, and everyone has situations that are unique to them. But that doesn't mean that no one has advice or ideas that might be helpful in another person's situation.
For me personally, advice is never unwelcome. I don't do anything in regards to Janey (or in any area of my life) I don't want to do, so if the advice is not something I think will work, I just don't use it, but that doesn't mean I'm upset I got it. I need all the help I can get.
I can see how it would be easy to drive people out of your life if you have a child with a significant disability. It's very easy, when sleep deprived and overwhelmed and at the end of your rope, to think everyone else's life is so much better than your own, and to start resenting them. I never want to be like that. Janey is tough. I'll never pretend she isn't. But I have a lot of wonderful things in my life. She is one of them. She is a wonder to me, so often. And I have a great husband, two amazing sons and many friends so amazing I wonder every day what I did to deserve them. I have enough to eat, shelter, all the books I could ever read (thank you, Boston Public Library), my hobbies, good health care, and I am living in this amazing information age, where from right at my computer, I can access Facebook, email and the whole world of the internet. I am lucky in so many ways.
There are days when I feel very alone. There are days when everyone feels very alone, I know. But I know I'm not alone, and I am so glad I'm not. So please, if you have ideas, advice, stories---never ever hesitate to share them.