Standing on the shingle
Or a harbour wall
You look across the sea surface
You watch waves
Small, large, swelling, sinking, rolling
And you see a pattern
There’s a cross current that draws in one direction then the other
A bit like a swimmer’s arms crawling one after the other
Not quite aligned
But going in the same direction
And from the harbour wall
It looks fairly predictable.
You spot a couple of small waves closing together
Then a flatter patch
And you stay at the edge because
You think you know what is coming and you feel
You look across at the fishing boats and the other people looking out
There’s a couple holding hands
A fisherman down on the sand mending his nets
Getting ready for tomorrow morning
Seagulls wheel and cry around you
Skimming the surface then hovering above the house roofs
Hanging in the gusting wind…
You’re knocked sideways by a rogue wave.
Oh my God
Where did that come from?
Soaked through and dripping…
You looked away,
You let your guard down,
And it jumped on you and won’t let you go
And you run backwards, backwards, further backwards
And the spray follows you and won’t let you go
Well that’s how it is.
Out of nowhere, the perfect wave.
You can cope with little things.
You know they are there, bubbling gently beneath the surface,
They exist, they swirl a little, they come and go,
But now they have coalesced and
Yesterday it was fine.
Today it is overwhelming.
And you know somewhere that it will pass,
That tomorrow will be ok again.
Back to normal
But just now
What are you thinking?
Where has this come from?
It’s not self pity.
It’s not melodramatic.
It’s not weakness.
It’s not because you can’t pull yourself together.
It’s because you are human.
You’re a person.
And you need a little help at times
To get through the bigger waves
That engulf you now and then.
That’s what supporting people to self manage and sharing care is all about.
You can give me information
But what I need is what I need
Not what you think I need.
Listen to me.
Work with me.
Invest a little in me now
Save a lot later
And help me live well with what comes my way.
My long term conditions
Put patients in control and help them live well.
We’ll cost you less and
We’ll be happier.
And the waves won’t drown us.