How Volunteering Can Help Heal Your Herpes Suffering-
Today I want to share with you Sheila’s story. Shelia has been a woman who I have worked with in the past with Habitat for Humanity and she really exemplifies two different things. First off, she exemplifies vulnerability. I asked her to share her story of how working with a non-profit and volunteering pulled her out of a great deal of shame and pain around her herpes diagnosis as well as some extremely challenging personal times in her life. The second thing that we can learn from her story is that when we are suffering, it’s important to get out of your own head. If you are able to focus on other people and focus on their needs, healing can really start from the inside, out. Volunteering is a great way to feel better about yourself and also make a great impact on the community. I encourage you to read her full story below!
What Volunteering at Habitat for Humanity has meant in my life.
Hi my name is Sheila and this is the story of how volunteering with Habitat for Humanity has helped me to make changes in my life. So first some background on myself. I have been through what I call the Decade from HELL. Seems it all started in 2006 for me. It is now 2017 and it has been a REALLY LONG road of LOSS and change in my life. However, not all of it was BAD. I had many good things happen also. Nevertheless, the roller coaster ride has forever changed me. As I look back now I am amazed that I pulled myself through so much. A few key turning points made my road to where I am currently at a lot better and it began with Volunteering.
As my therapist has told me many times, I have gone through more in a short time frame then most people go through over the entire course of their lives. That is a very true statement for me. Some of the highlights (as I call them now) from my decade from Hell have been the following. I have suffered through 10 deaths in 11 years and it has been one Major grief session after another. Six of which have been family…..including my Mom, Grandmother and Father (all 3 within a year and half). Grief is a tricky bastard to deal with and I cannot seem to get away from it. In addition, I purchased my condo/home and moved out alone for the first time in my life.
I have also been out of work 4 times totaling almost 3 years living on savings and Unemployment and PT retail jobs in between. Because of this I had to work with my mortgage company twice to save my house, this last one (2016) came excessively close to that happening. The sad part about being out of work so much was the 3 years I also spent back in College for a Dual Master’s Degree so my company could promote me. However, I was “laid off” after 8years shortly after graduating and have had bad luck in the last 7 years with finding Permanent employment. That has led to lots of Contract work and NOT working. I have become a Master at getting through tough times, financially at least; the emotional toll is still a work in progress.
In between all this happening, I of course started to change and that lead to losing some very close friends in my life. There has also just been a rash of bad luck in the dating world therefore I have never gotten married or had any kids (even though I wanted that). What killed me the most was losing my BFF of 18 years because her new husband never liked me. With that, I also lost being an Aunt to a great little boy that was the LOVE of my life. And my person to talk to about anything in life.
I have also gained a LOT of weight and my self-confidence took hits all over the place. Both physically and emotionally with personal and professional sectors. Not to mention the host of health issues that I have been faced with, including daily chronic back pain due to a bulging disc and now Herpes not to mention the mid to late 40’s hormonal changes.
I do not remember the younger version of me that started this journey 11 years ago now. However, today I see a very strong woman that somehow got through it all. I have lost a lot but have gained a lot as well. I have a few amazing women friends that have seen me through all of this and have stayed by my side. I LOVE them all dearly but one day I realized that I needed something else in my life. The dating scene has just been tough for me, I just do not have great luck and when I do meet the right guy, it seems to always be the wrong time for him. So I was bored with online dating, back to work after a 16 month unemployment and realizing that while I loved my girlfriends, we all didn’t really have a lot in common as far as interest in what we did together. I would hang out with them to get out of the house, but they never seemed to want to do things I wanted.
I knew I needed something to change but was not sure how to begin and what exactly I needed to change. So somewhere in the middle of my life being a Complete MESS (4 years ago), I heard yet another news segment on The Jimmy Carter Build with Habitat for Humanity in Denver and how that was wrapping up and ending. I realized that I had missed a chance to DO SOMETHING GOOD and work side by side with our former president of the US, I felt sad but that spurred me into action. I just had started another job and waited until I was adjusted there. However, the ONLY way I knew how to make a change in my life at that point was this volunteering opportunity with Habitat for Humanity. I had always been intrigued in this organization and had the thought of “What kind of Guys can I meet at a construction site”, was a thought at first. Then after checking out the site online and signed up to check it out.
May 3rd, 2014 I woke up and got ready to go to my very first day volunteering at Habitat for Humanity…
Read The Rest Of Sheilas’s Amazing Story Here
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