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‘A Carers Life’ December 2020 – Sam

So when I did my first blog post I wanted to tell you all about me and my tribe and our life, then we got lockdown and all thoughts were consumed by the current situation. Some days it felt like I’d got nothing done other than keeping everyone fed. Now have finished our second lockdown and we are watching and waiting on the next steps I’ve hit a writers block. So I have decided to do something a little different, and instead of talking to you about the many things that plague our news feeds and our email daily or the intricacies of my life, I’m going to tell you something else because if I have learnt anything from the last one, its that its easy to forget that there is still simple positives to be found world outside of our computer and phone screens.

So what am I going to tell you?

I’m going to tell you that I am Sam!  Hi!!

Its easy to forget that, when your days are spent checking emails from schools and texts to see another development and checking screens for an update. In the last lockdown I lost more than just my independence and the feeling that i had a choice in anything I did, I lost a part of myself, the social side of me. It was hard because anyone would tell you that I’m the biggest control freak ever. I like to know what I’m doing and when I’m doing it and everything around that and I’m very vocal about everything, it felt like I lost a big part of my personality and the hardest part of that was that I didn’t even notice it had happened.

I’ve talked before on here about how I signed up to do care calls during the last lockdown but it wasn’t straight away. For the first few weeks I felt like I managed and little more. These calls started and then continued after lockdown too. I  went from 2 people to 1, that’s increased again to two and I couldn’t be more thrilled, not because I get to help other people (although that is a big part of it) but because I know that this lockdown I’ll be able to spend a few mins each week being reminded that I am me and I am more than a person who is ‘just managing’. My calls do more than reassure my caller that someone is on the end of the phone. They remind me that I’m a person, I have opinions and feelings and the person on the end of the phone doesn’t just get a friendly voice, they ask how MY day has been how I’m managing and instead of being all about them, it becomes about 2 people connecting in the simplest of forms and I feel like that part becomes forgotten in the daily rush of life usually especially at the moment.

When I have a call I prepare, I pour myself a drink, I get myself comfortable and for an hour, the world around me goes quiet. My calls are planned around when is best for me and the recipient, so I’m not rushing around and I’ve found myself switching off from everything. No Facebook dings, no news popping up on my personal phone. Just me and them. A few weeks ago the lady I call told me she was grateful for the call because it was a constant for her, she introduced my voice to those in her room, as she does every week if anyone is there with her. I’ve became a tiny part of her day just as she has with mine. I’ve even found my kids asking me if everything is ok when they have noticed my call didn’t last as long as usual and laughing with me when a call has lasted longer because neither I nor the lady I’ve spoken to have kept track of the time while we have been talking.

Yesterday my email dinged, and it was a request for my daughter to have a penfriend, she already has 1 in America who she adores and she sat and told me how excited she was to have another, this one is more local. who she could share her thoughts and feelings with with no judgement and I saw the smile on her face when she told me what she had planned to write in her first response to the girl. Seeing her face reminded me just how important it is for her as well as for me, to have this option and it also reminded me of how much I get from these calls too. Like everyone else I have friends, and I have a friends list and I have social media but I also have another friend, one at the end of the phone,  (now two) who doesn’t judge me and doesn’t expect anything from me other than my voice.

So now I’m going to say it again because of importance of that statement. 

I am Sam, I’m a mother, and a carer and a chef, and a million other things, but I’m also just Sam, a voice on the end of the phone, reaching out and being reminded that I’m still me. Hi!

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