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Gille's Survival guide

We've re-posted a humorous survival guide that Gillie wrote to help her cope with the stresses of caring: 

Gilles own guide Twitter

My Guide to Survival as a Carer.

1. Unless someone's a medic no one else is an expert on your other half's condition. Therefore, they are not worth listening to and their opinion/ advice is worth diddly squat. 

2. Dust and fluff are not nuclear waste. They will not cause a global crisis. They will be there long after you have stopped breathing, so don't beat yourself up over microbes that don't matter. Do your housework when you have the time, energy and inclination or nothing else to do.

3. If people feel it necessary to pass an ill informed judgement, comment or opinion, feel sorry for them. There is no cure for terminal stupidity. It's their problem, don't make it yours.

4. Find something to laugh at several times a day. It's a great antidote for the blues. Don't worry if no one else finds it funny. They don't walk in your shoes and laughing to yourself deters unwanted attention.

5. Find an oasis of peace in a day to just be quiet without any input. There are many demands on your time, so refuel your sense of well being as often as you can. Failing that, put your earphones in and lose yourself in your favourite tracks. 

6. Value the people who support you, no matter if they are real, virtual, near or far. The fact they understand your journey and take time to say, "Hi" is like early morning dew. It refreshes and revives your spirit. Although you may feel it often, you aren't alone.

7. Remember you are only human, prey to all the human emotions, negative and positive. Swearing under your breath does not make you a bad person. It's just a release valve that stops negative emotions erupting into something far worse.

8. Swearing can be therapeutic! They are only words, not bullets, and can make you laugh, relieve stress and give you the oomph to continue, when you want to give up.

9. Sing at the top of your voice. It doesn't matter if you've a voice like a bullfrog with laryngitis. Who cares? You're not auditioning for X Factor and you haven't time for a record contract anyway, so let rip. You'll feel heaps better afterwards.

10. Don't fret if the words "Thank you" are never heard. Being selfish is easy. Compassion, empathy, love and gratitude take time and effort. You can freak relatives out by telling them it could be their turn to look after their family member one day, if anything happens to you! 

11. Take time to nurture your dreams, hopes and ambitions. Like a rare bloom, it may not be their time to flower, but if you neglect them, they'll never get the chance.

12. Some days can be like being lost in the fog but above the clouds the sun is shining. Watch your steps, look after yourself and with care you won't plummet over the cliff.

13. This is but one journey. Keep in mind you still have a life and a future. If this journey changes or ends, you need to be fit to start the next one, so be prepared. It's a big, scary world out there, you need to be strong, face your fears and remember that kindness is a passport to the best places.

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