Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: An Incredible Gift

Monday, 1 February 2016

An Incredible Gift



It's funny how things work out sometimes.

A couple of weeks ago, I sat here at my desk feeling sorry for myself - I seem to have had a series of "those weeks" lately, when everything all goes wrong at once - this particular week in question saw my car get towed and me have to make the decision not to pay for its release (because it cost more than the car was worth and I just couldn't afford it!),  numerous unexpected bills drop through my letterbox, my health decline with pregnancy related conditions and so on...just one of those very annoying weeks when everything seems to really get on top of you and drag you down.

During that week, I sat down at my computer desk full of self pity and wrote a post - it was a post mostly about my experiences of being bullied throughout school, how much that experience continues to effect my social confidence today and how I often still feel very much like an outsider in social situations.

Within that post, I discussed how I even felt isolated within the blogger community - that this community so packed full of amazing and creative people who so inspire me on a daily basis, who I look up to and admire so much somehow feels a little out of reach to me even though it's a community I'm a part of - that somehow that anxious soul inside me and the self-doubting voice of the bullied teenager who continues to live in my head tell me constantly that I don't fit in, people don't like me, that sure I have a few friends  that I speak to but I'm not one of the "popular" people and I never will be...in the real world and in the blogging community.

I decided against publishing that post at the last minute as I happened to see a very similar one about bullying written by another blogger, and I felt they were too alike - so I shelved it, and moved on.

The next post I wrote came after another particularly bad week - a post entitled An Open Letter From The Bathroom Floor - which reached more people than I ever expected or intended it to.

And how very ironic what happened next is.


As a result of that post, that very same blogger community that I had worried I was isolated from, that I felt I desperately wanted to be a part of but didn't feel I was...reached out to me.

A group of them came together and, for entirely selfless reasons, with nothing in it for them whatsoever - decided it would be a nice thing to do to reach out to me and show their support.

They organised a surprise for me - they clubbed together and spent days sorting out what they would do, how they would organise it, and so on.

I received that surprise this weekend - and what an enormous surprise it was!

I opened a parcel upon arriving home from a night away, and was shocked to find the most beautiful bouquet of flowers along with a box of chocolates and a lovely scented candle...with a note explaining it was from my blogger friends.

I was incredibly touched at how thoughtful they'd been.

I then opened a letter - and found it was a card, signed from so many bloggers, and featuring individual words of encouragement, support, kindness and friendship - words that moved me to tears, that I had to read over and over again just to take in how truly wonderful they were.

As if that wasn't enough (And of course it was!) the next letter I opened was a gift card containing a large amount of shopping vouchers.

I went online to write a heartfelt thank you to those people, and was met with yet another surprise - that they had transferred money to my Paypal account to enable me to take some "maternity leave" after picking up on a sentence in my post where I had stated that I couldn't afford to do this.

I was floored.

I could not (and still cannot) believe that a group of people had come together to show so much support, so much generosity, so much care.

I tried and tried to thank them, but nothing feels enough - they gave me such an incredible gift.

Yes they gave me beautiful flowers which make me smile each morning, they gave me yummy chocolates and a beautiful candle which made my evening so much nicer - they gave me vouchers and money which has relieved so much pressure on me to keep working continuously once baby arrives - I can now take actual time off and know that the basics such as food and electric are covered without having to panic. 

But they also gave me so much more than that - they gave me support, hope and the one thing that ever since my schooldays I have always felt that I lacked much of and always so desperately wanted to feel - they gave me friendship.

And for that I simply can't thank them enough.

I'm not sharing this post to wax lyrical about how lucky I am or to boast about the incredible gift I received - I'm sharing it because I think it sends a very important message.

So often there are people in our lives who are struggling for one reason or another, and so often we notice and we have the best intentions of reaching out to offer support or a shoulder to cry on but for whatever reason life gets in the way or we feel that perhaps our attention will be unwanted or it would be better not to get involved - but let me tell you, when you're feeling isolated and alone - somebody reaching out to you makes a world of difference.

I feel so fortunate that I belong to such a wonderful community of so many kind hearted people who saw fit to reach out and offer their friendship to me, but I also feel sad for the other ladies who commented on my original post or emailed me and told me of the way they're feeling...isolated, alone, scared...these may well be people in your own lives and nobody should feel that way.

 So please, if there's someone you suspect may be feeling this way - do take the time to reach out to them. No grand gestures needed, just send them a message...just ask if they're ok. You don't know how much difference that might make to them.

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13 comments:

  1. Aww Hayley that is so lovely! It sound like you have some fab friends there. x

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  2. Beautiful post sweetie. What we did was really nothing, a few pound here and there, organising the gifts, but we knew that small effort from each blogger would turn into this huge gesture that would have the most amazing impact on how you were feeling. I'm so glad I was part of it. Thank you to the bloggers who put in the effort of organising. It's really makes me feel proud to be in the blogging community; knowing there's always someone watching over you and giving you support. Sending hugs xxxxxxxxx

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  3. This has put a huge smile on my face. I'm so glad that we were able to cheer you up and make things a little easier for you xxx

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  4. Such a lovely and inspiring post Hayley, I think its lovely how people have been able to message/email you, they're obviously looking up to you as a role model, you've helped them to open up. xxx

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  5. I'm so glad we were able to make you feel better lovely. You're never alone and I hope things start to feel so much better for you. You've really delivered such an important message with this post and I hope others who may be feeling the same as you know that there are always people that care, even if they don't always know it. xx

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  6. I'm so glad we were able to put a smile back on your face, you deserve it all and are so loved by us all xxx
    You also helped other people with your post who are feeling the same way as you were, knowing they are not alone feeling this way must be the biggest help of all.
    Remember you are never alone and we are all here for you xxx

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  7. Hayley, this post is amazing it really highlights a very important message, I have had so many ups and downs since becoming a mother and feeling isolated is something that has happened more than once. I am just so glad that we all came together to put a smile on your face and show you that you are not alone xxx

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  8. You touched us all with your post sweetie. You are very loved and such an amazing person

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  9. Just goes to show that you never know what is going on in someone's life or whatbl they think about themselves - I've always looked up to you as a popular and fantastic blogger. You are. Believe it! X

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  10. I'm glad that we were all able to cheer you up, you definitely deserve it. I hope that it has shown you no matter how you feel inside, you are never alone. It was very brave of you to publish that post. I remember the first time I wrote a post about my anxiety and depression I was terrified. In some strange way getting it out there helps sometimes. xx

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  11. Wow what a wonderful gesture that was - you have made some real friends in the blogging community <3 hopefully you are feeling a bit better now :)

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  12. I am glad that the gifts cheered you up, we all wanted to be involved so that you knew you were not alone and to make you smile again. xx

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  13. What a fabulous story, makes me feel happy that there's kindness and care out there. Really brought a smile to my face ☺ xxx

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