Barbara's Reflections: Out on a limb, hanging by my fingertips!

August 3, 2011

This week on the Women's Forum there have been two posts that have "touched home" for me. I must share with you that I was hesitant at first to answer them. Why, you are probably asking... Well they are Both subjects that I am completely familiar with and yet felt reluctant to open-up about on the forum.

Hi everyone,

This week has seen the Big Birthday Party at OBGYN.net and the seven-hour Chat Marathon. There were lots of Doctors and women there all having fun. I over-slept (of course) and missed the first couple of hours, but I did hang-in there till the end! Do I get any points for That?

This week on the Women's Forum there have been two posts that have "touched home" for me. I must share with you that I was hesitant at first to answer them. Why, you are probably asking... Well they are Both subjects that I am completely familiar with and yet felt reluctant to open-up about on the forum.

There is a fine line between sharing and sounding like you want or seek pity... I put much thought into that and deceived to Go For It! As I told one of the women , "I've been there, done it and have the tee shirt, Darn 'it"!

Brenda wrote a deep from the heart post about her up-coming Breast Cancer treatments and asked if anyone knew anything about what to expect....Well, how could I Not answer her? I have been there before her and I Know what it's all about, at least as I lived it... I answered that post wondering how others would feel about me revealing so much about my own life. I received a beautiful response from Brenda and also a lovely letter from a nurse that is a frequent writer to our forum, thanking me for sharing my experience with breast cancer treatment. Joanne made me feel it was Alright,! She doesn't have BC and yet she appreciated my opening-up to some one else that does. She made me proud of myself and not ashamed.

Just yesterday we read a post from a gal whose mother has just started her journey through treatment and wanted and needed answers from someone that had been there before so, the tree limb gets longer.... and I begin again to wonder if I am doing the right thing but; I answer again.

Then there's Wilma, tortured from depression associated with menopause asking for help. She feels at times as if she wants to take her life.... I Really Think Long And Hard about answering This One! That limb is getting longer and longer and I am beginning to think I have gone too far in sharing my personal experiences. So what do I do? Well those of you that are beginning to get to know me, know "I can't keep quiet"! So I answer her... I tell her about My experiences with Major Depression, last year and how serious it is. I can't stay quiet, I Have to share what I know. So, now I'm Really hanging by my fingertips from that limb. I've done a Lot of soul searching about these posts to the forum and I've come to the conclusion that , "to not share what I know is wrong". When someone asks a question they Need an answer.

The doctors share their knowledge with the us and also their personal thoughts each time they answer a question. You women that post to the forum help each other all the time by past experiences. You do this with love for others each time you answer another woman's' request.

So now I say to myself, "what makes you, Barbara Ann any different then anyone else on the forum? You have just had a different set of experiences, but they are not unique". I am glad I opened up and answered those letters and I am Not hanging on a limb any longer. I'm going to wrap my arms around the tree trunk and sit back and read a good book and wait for the next person that has a problem that I have experienced and I'm going to speak out and not be ashamed.

A great teacher that I had in nurses' training told us the first day, "one person can make a difference". She is right!

Barbara