The kindness of strangers

Emma Louise Cheetham by Emma Louise Cheetham Additional Needs

Emma Louise Cheetham

Emma Louise Cheetham

I live in Stockport, UK. I have Borderline Personality Disorder and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. After years of therapy and getting back on my fee...

It was world kindness day last month. A day aimed at making the world a better place by celebrating and promoting kindness.

Something that we’d all like to imagine is a daily occurrence, but sadly that isn’t always the case.

We hear so much negativity in the news, so much sadness and all the bad things happening in the world that the kindness tends to take a back seat. Kindness isn’t talked about as much as the negativity.

It’s commonplace. I’m guilty of it too.

When something bad happens or somebody does something that makes me unhappy I’m quick to rant about it, but I won’t always be as quick to scream and shout about something good or someone being kind.

Why is that? In all honesty I don’t know. Lately I have tried to be as open about kindness and good things happening as much as I am about things that make me mad or sad.

I think it’s good for our mental well-being to talk about the good happening in our lives, to focus on kindness and nice things.

I know from experience that talking about negative happenings can only cause me to ruminate and spiral further into a cycle of depressive thoughts so talking about happier, kinder experiences can only have the opposite effect, right?

I’ve experienced kindness by the bucketful (and then some) this past year.

It’s been the most trying time of my life but in amongst the rough ride, I’ve regularly updated a Facebook page dedicated entirely to the journey that my beautiful boy Jaxon is on.

I started the page initially because I couldn’t keep up with the abundance of messages that were landing in my inbox daily for updates on how Jaxon was getting on.

Friends of friends began to follow his page and before I knew it there was a few hundred people eagerly willing my baby boy on.

As the months have passed Jaxon’s followers have grown and grown, along with it so has the level of compassion and support we have received.

So many people have been on this journey with us through numerous lengthy hospital admissions, PEG surgery, several episodes on life support, difficult appointments, tough diagnoses, meltdowns, sadness, happiness, fun times, trying times, the lot.

Many times throughout the year I have been left entirely overwhelmed and a bit of an emotional mess after being shown complete and utter kindness from people I’ve never even spoken to, let alone met.

My faith in humanity has been well and truly restored and in those moments our journey hasn’t felt so big, I haven’t felt so scared or alone and I’ve realised that no matter how much sadness and how many evil people there are in the world, there’s as many good and kind people to outweigh them, they just don’t get the praise that they deserve.

When we were in hospital in the Summer, I received a lovely package from a kind lady that I’ve never met who follows Jaxon’s page.

She knew I was struggling with hospital life and I was so incredibly overwhelmed by her kind gesture, it came at the perfect time when I felt like the bottom of my world was falling out.

Jaxon has received some lovely gifts also, from strangers. We both have over the past year.

People who don’t know us, have followed his journey and through entire kindness have wanted to do something to help.

Those gestures are priceless and I hope those who have sent them know how hugely grateful I am.

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