Please say a warm hello to first-time contributor Sherri Matthews, a 54-year-old woman who lives in Somerset, England. Sherri is the mother of three grown children. Her youngest, her now 21-year-old daughter, was diagnosed three years ago with Asperger’s Syndrome. At the same time Sherri lost her job and, unable to find work with the part-time hours she could cope with, became her daughter’s full-time carer to help and support her with her daily struggles caused by severe social anxiety and low mood. Seeking help for her daughter within the confines of the limited help available left Sherri, at times, battling her own anxiety and depression, but she sought help for herself by making the life-changing decision to pursue her life-long dream of starting a writing career. She believes that by sharing our stories with others facing similar circumstances we can help and support one another and so lessen the daily burden so many of us carry when helping others we love and also when trying to help ourselves in the process.
About this photo: “I try to get out for walks as much as possible with my husband, both for the physical and the mental benefits. This photo was taken not far from where we live in Somerset, just after the severe storms which battered our part of the world this past winter. I adore trees and the stark contrast of this ‘Broken Tree’ against the blue sky really struck me and compelled me to take this photo and write a poem from my place of brokenness such as I felt that day. Ultimately, reflecting in this way enabled me to look past the poor, dead tree to the blue sky beckoning beyond, enabling me to look to a future with renewed hope.“
Find more from Lori at her blog.