A little while ago I was watching an Insight episode called “Rebuilding Your Life”.
People were invited to talk about how they were rebuilding their lives after experiencing a catastrophic incident. One man said: “I was able to be independent and use my own skills and abilities to manage my situation”. I was so impressed and also suddenly reminded of the women at Bonnie’s who have also experienced major changes in their lives. I have seen women rebuild their lives by looking for a new home, attending multitudes of appointments and their children changing schools and adapting to new environments. Our clients and even many of us are on a journey of rebuilding lives.
Not long ago I was helping a client to lodge a claim for her Centrelink payment. While on the phone with her, she asked me, “Do you mean that I have to apply for this myself? Can you do it for me?” I then explained how I would support and help her through it but that she was to do it herself. The process became less daunting as she progressed and when she completed the claim, she felt a sense of achievement.
The next time we met we discussed the childcare centre visits I had booked for her. She asked me to come along to view each centre with her. I responded asking if she felt confident to do the visits on her own as everything was well organised. She said yes and visited the centres by herself and made the decision to enrol her child into the centre of her choice. When she called me to tell me about this, I heard and felt the pride beaming out of her.
Watching clients gradually grow makes me realise that sometimes I might just underestimate people’s amazing ability to rebuild their own life. Just as the man in the program had said, life is not always predictable but most times people will be ready for the unpredictable and can adapt to the changes. So do our clients. They may come to us when they are feeling the most vulnerable and need a lot of support from us at the beginning. However, they also have their own amazing abilities to rebuild their own lives and regain control. They are adjusting to the ‘unpredictable’ and gradually they can become independent in their own life journey. All we need is to guide them along their way and have a little bit more faith in them.
Written by Shunan who believes in the power of positive change for all individuals. She loves to experience different lifestyles in different places and believes that everyone has the right to live their lives in their own way.