Dennis took part in this year’s Pilgrimage from London to Canterbury, a 74 mile fundraising walk over the May bank holiday weekend. He was interviewed half way through the event and shares his experience of walking and some reflections on his own life.
How’s the walk going?
It’s going fine actually. Better than I thought. I’m surprised how my knees have held up.
Have you enjoyed it?
It’s made me more reflective. Various people have asked me questions and it’s having to put them in to context. When people know you’re part of the Connection itself they want to know how, why. It’s not exactly difficult but I realise that quite a lot has happened to me in the last decade. And it’s putting that in context as half the time I bury it.
People want to know answers to questions like ‘How did you become homeless?’ ‘Why did you stay homeless so long?’ They’re very valid questions. From being fairly comfortably off to losing everything. To then going and losing a daughter. Suicides are always difficult for the people left behind. You’re always thinking why, could I have done something different? It’s more poignant than if someone dies. I know that sounds callous but you always question why, sorry to repeat myself, but this is what I ask myself every day.
What have you learnt from the experience?
I was thinking I’ve got to make more time for myself. I have people I see a lot who have issues but it’s easier to deal with their issues than my issues.
How will you make more time for yourself?
I’ll say no to people or it’s learning how to say no to people which is difficult because a lot of people have already faced rejections.