You are a Special Person

In the Biblical injunction to Love Thy Neighbour as Thyself attention is usually directed to the neighbour’s side of the equation. The implication is nevertheless plain that to do this effectively we must first love ourselves.

This is not a call for narcissism: for excessive self-love, but for a good and healthy self-esteem.

Why should this apply especially to members of ADARDS? Leaving aside the fact that you must be caring people or you would not be members let us look at the vital need for a healthy level of self-esteem in the one who is a carer in the ADARDS sense.

There have been times, and there will be more times, when the one for whom you care will say things that will hurt you. It is one thing to know, intellectually, that this is a symptom or sign of the disease, it is a very different thing to accept this in an emotional sense. Your capacity to do so is related directly to your self-esteem.

Unless you have an inner certainty of your own self-worth your opinion of yourself will depend on the views of others. More than that, it will depend on the whim of others.

You have been accustomed to accepting the valuation of those near to you. The fact, in the case of a cared for person, that this valuation is clouded by illness does not lessen your reliance on their approval and good will.  You may seek social approval elsewhere, indeed that may be the main benefit of support groups, but the real answer lies in cultivating YOUR sense of self-worth. How? The answer is simple, but not necessarily easy.

Step One. Look at your fingertip under a magnifier. Observe the loops and whorls. Know that in all the teeming millions in this world, of all those who have lived in the past, of those to be born, YOUR pattern is unique.

by H.St.Vincent Beechey