There are shelves full of self help books in the shops. It’s big business. While I don’t doubt that some may be useful, my feelings are that the only winners are the writers and publishers, cashing in on our problems.
To truly know and appreciate something, you have to have been there yourself. That applies to everything in life.
You could read a fantastic travel blog for instance, but until you get chance to visit the places you read about, the articles are just words and pictures. I’m not dissing travel blogs, I love them, but they are not a fully dimensional experience and you can only imagine the feels.
Support groups are made up of people who have been there and done that. They will have similar experiences and common ground. For instance, if you’ve never slept on a camp bed beside your sick child in a children’s hospital, you couldn’t understand everything I have to say about it. Another parent who has done that, may have been in a completely different hospital, but they would still know about the machines that bleep all night. They would know about the fear that keeps you awake. They would know about the comfort of the communal kitchen at gone midnight. They would remind you to bring a blanket and a cushion from home. They would remind you to bring earphones and suggest a calming playlist.
The one piece of advice I remember from my English classes is “write about what you know”, and I think that’s true for speaking too. Don’t pretend to be an expert if you are not!
For the good times
Support groups don’t have to be for the bad times. They can be for the good times too. I’m so grateful to be part of my blogging group and gain new knowledge about this hobby from other bloggers, and passing on to others what I’ve already learned.
I like being part of the crafting community too, and swapping tips and ideas, or just spending time together making things with my friend Christine or my Mum (but she’s miles away so it doesn’t happen often).
I hope that wherever you are and whatever you are doing, you’re getting the best support and the best advice.