Hello beautiful people ❤
In the past, I prefered publishing tips & tricks rather than personal stories on my blog. However, this time, I’m sharing a personal story…
I found my way back to “work”! By this, I don’t mean 8 hours a day 5 days a week. I decided to start very slowly & gentle with 3 – 4 hours per week. I don’t get any money for this job, as it’s voluntary work. Thus, I still have the possibility to call in sick when I don’t feel very well. This was the most important condition for me. I don’t have any obligation, thus I’m less stressed & anxious about this whole new situation.
It all started with the refugee crisis. Thousands of people from Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan & other countries fled their homes since the outbreak of civil war & other dramatic circumstances. People who payed thousands of dollars to reach Europe on leaky, overloaded vessels with faulty motors. Many of them didn’t make it to Greece & have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. I couldn’t watch those horrible pictures & videos any longer. At this point, I knew I had to do something to help those people once they reached Europe. I decided to register as a volunteer. It all started with sorting donated clothing & distributing them to the refugees. My first “job” was a 4 Hour work day. I was so nervous & overanxious. I barely slept the night before, constantly having those feelings of “Am I able to do this?”. My mum accompanied me & it reduced my stress a bit. However, the time passed quickly & I had so much fun! I met the most beautiful & grateful children that day. Even though those people lost everything, they had bigger smiles on their faces than all Europeans together. I went home with a feeling of warmth, joy, enthusiasm, pride & happiness. I haven’t had those feelings in a long time & for a short moment, I felt like my old self again. I’m not gonna lie, I had some problems dealing with the whole situation at the beginning. I found it hard to zone out, after seeing all those tragic fates. Some of you might probably think, that I’m crazy doing this “job” which is so emotional. However, it was the wisest decision I’ve ever made in my life. To be honest, I don’t do it for the refugees only. I do it for myself, because helping others helps me to feel better. Volunteering helps me to provide a healthy boost to my self confidence and self esteem. It definitely increased my life satisfaction & gave me this sense of accomplishment. I think, that people like you & me, who are suffering from chronic illnesses, absolutely need this feeling of being needed again. I handed over most of my responsibilities during the last 1.5 years. I had some moments where I completely felt useless & unable to do certain things. I also realised that doing things for my own never gave me this sense of accomplishment as volunteering. I work in a refugee camp once a week now. Preparing the food & distributing it to the refugees. It is physically demanding, but I recover quickly from it. Volunteering definitely helped me to get better during the last weeks. Not only physically but also mentally. This is my first big step into a “normal” life again. For some of you it might be a very small step, while it’s a huge one for others. I only want you to know that recovery is possible. I’m still on my way & not where I want to be. It’s not always easy. I still struggle a lot, but I realised that most of my struggles are rather mentally. I still have this fear of not being good enough. However I’m working on myself every day. I want to tell you, “stop comparing yourself to others!” Your recovery is different from my recovery. Focus on the things that make you happy. And last but not least, we should all be more thankful for all the things we have in life. The bright smiles of the refugees taught me to appreciate every little thing in life. We have so many things to be grateful for. Let’s start to enjoy these tiny little moments 🙂