Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Acceptance and Denial

Acceptance and denial are very different ways to look at a diagnosis. It seems that everyone in a family and friendship circle accepts a diagnosis at her/his own pace. In fact, some deny for a long time. This can cause frustration in your life, especially if you are a primary caregiver. There may be times that you feel alone, isolated, resentful, angry and emotionally overwrought. So weary, so tired, feeling like no one out there really knows what you're going through.

Often times I experienced the slippery slope of emotional ups and downs. I felt as though I was on an island all by myself. I longed to surround myself with people who really understood what it was like, day in and day out, dealing with all that needed to be done, to accomplish the long list of tasks to care for someone.  I didn't want to go to my friends and "complain" or share something that seemed so negative. I attended a few support group meetings for caregivers and found value in associating with those who were walking in the same shoes as I was. But, that was only once a month. There were so many times I felt withdrawn, anti-social and guarded. Actually, I felt vulnerable because I was so raw with emotion. Ultimately, I came to terms with it.

Quite honestly, I haven't looked back to these days for a very long time. As I was writing this blog, a wave of emotion came over me and I found myself right back in those dark days of loneliness and despair. The tears filled my eyes so quickly; all the sorrow of those days were right there in my mind.

How critical it is that we find a way to care for ourselves while caring for a child or adult who is in need of a Caregiver daily. Being a Caregiver requires so much stamina, fortitude, endurance, emotional discipline, strength and self-care. I can not stress enough how important it is that you find at least one person in your life who you can speak to about these feelings of isolation and withdrawl. Along with that, it is critical that you take care of yourself. It's well known that if a Caregiver does not take care of herself or himself - emotionally, mentally and physically - it's not uncommon to acquire a chronic illness. So, please think about what you need to do to remain healthy and strong so you can do the job that needs to be done; caring for the ones in your life who you love. Have you experienced the emotional roller coaster of caring for another? What do you do to find your peace at the end of the day? 

Best Wishes,
Carole Brecht
Instagram: @San_Gen_Woman
Twitter: Carole Brecht @SanGenWoman

Copyright 2015

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