Lessons from a carer's break

I had such a lovely time last week and we've both benefited from it more than I would have thought possible but I've come to realise that, for me, it was more than just the break from responsibilities.  Stepping back gave me time to catch my breath, it allowed me to focus on myself for the first time in years and years and it gave me a self assurance that was quite unexpected.

I remembered how much I liked driving, I discovered how liberating it is to stay in a hotel on my own, I found I was happy to eat in a restaurant with only a book for company, I learned that I can negotiate motorway services without help, I noticed that I was much less tired driving on busy motorways than on the quieter roads near home and, finally, I found that I can drive for far longer than I would ever have thought possible which in turn opens up the world to me.

At the beginning of all of this I was so frightened of living my life without Ash to look after me and make sure I was ok.  Over the last three and a half years I've gradually realised that I'm ok on my own, I can enjoy my own company and I can still make the most of my life but now through my own efforts.

The new, lovely, social worker has found some fairy dust from somewhere and acquired funding for more days away over the next 12 months.  Not lots and lots obviously but enough to give both of us a boost every so often and enough to allow me to develop my confidence even more.  I plan to make the most of those days and that, my friends, is called 'planning for the future'.

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