When I really think about it, I have been surrounded by wounded people for all of my life.
This began with my Mother, who became ill after the birth of her first child, myself. The Doctor was so concerned by this that he made her promise to have no more children. But my Mum did have children, thankfully, as I did not want to be an only child.
However, each birth made her unwell, and physically she has never regained full health.
My Father had depression, something that I witnessed as the eldest child.
I come from a family with a history of depression and alcoholism, and so the adults around me have all been affected with these issues.
When I became depressed myself, I went into a Hospital. There I met people who had had difficult life experiences. We would share in a group, and in a way those stories jolted me out of my own depression.
I realised that some people do not have a home or a Mum and Dad who loved them.
At the time, I felt that this was terrible, as I wanted to get home to my own parents, and felt for these wounded people who had known homelessness and addiction.
I also learned a lot about compassion at that time, and about listening to someone who needs to tell their story.
Since then, I have encountered human suffering on many levels. My question now is what to do with all this?
I want my heart to grow, and to contain compassion for everyone I meet.
I want never to forget that other people need love, even in my own worst moments.
I know depression can make me inward-looking. I also hope that my own suffering can make me more sensitive to other people, and understanding of their needs.
I also know that I get tired. I have been a carer for many years, and I do get exhausted sometimes.
Sometimes I feel that as I journey in this way, I cannot solve the problems of another person, but I can be a witness. When I sat in groups all those years ago, and listened, then I did not cure anyone. But I was a witness to their life story, and perhaps they needed that at the time.