Wednesday, April 8, 2015

What's A Social Life? Who Has Time To Be Connected?

What's a social life? Who has time to be connected? 

I keep coming back to this topic because I went through some serious withdrawal when I was at my worst with caregiver burnout, which happened a few times over the course of several years. I feel it's an important topic to cover. When I launched in February, I wrote a blog about Caregiver Burnout. Though the topic of this blog can be a result of feeling burnout, I think, for me, it runs deeper than that. 

There came a point early on in my caregiving journey when I felt myself not wanting to connect with my friends. I've always been a social person. From the time I was a child in grade school up through adulthood, I've worked hard at staying connected to my large friendship circles. I've put forth the time and effort over the years to nurture my long standing relationships. I am the "typical" middle child who runs in a pack and is connected with others on a large scale.

That all came to a screeching halt when I was so focused on caring for someone who completely relied on me. Without realizing it, one day, it seemed as though if someone looked at me sideways, I would back off and withdraw. In the past, I would engage and see what the matter was. My personality changed to a large degree for a long time. I was so sad, feeling stressed so much of the time. I didn't have the energy to make plans and see them through. My friendship circles were shrinking, and I didn't have time to think about it. Caregiving became all consuming for me. 

I don't think that is a healthy way to live. Especially going from one extreme to another. Some of my closest friends were aware I was dealing with a lot of stress and pulling away. They were very understanding. They were supportive and some went out of their way to check on me and keep me engaged. Up until recently, I accepted that my personality changed permanently. But, guess what - I'm back and so happy to feel alive again. I've worked hard to sort through my life, figure out what and who are most important to me, and I have a "happy feeling" deep inside again. It seems like it just showed up one day, but it really happened over time. No matter how it happened, I'm so glad to "feel like my old self again!" 

I'm so thankful for my family and friends who have been so supportive. And for those who are no longer a part of my life, that's how it goes sometimes. You may outgrow some people in your life. You may have to walk away from some people who once were very important to you. Whatever and whoever brings peace and joy to your life, those are the people to look to, lean on, lift up and support. For when you are in a crisis, dealing with life and death issues, daily, there is no time for negative energy. 

I'm different from who I was five years ago, ten years ago, twenty years ago...and yes fifty years ago. But my core values and source of strength remain the same. In the end, all that matters are our relationships, the love and the peace in our life and how we perceive life and living. All the stuff and things are of little importance when someone you love more than life is dying. Embrace the moment, for the moment is what truly matters most.

This week, think about those who are in your life. Those who may have fallen by the wayside. Those that you miss. Those that you need to visit or call. Pick up the phone, send a greeting card, write an email, send a text...reach out and say "Hello, I've been thinking about you, we need to get together" and see how that makes you feel. Don't let too much time go by and disconnect from those who matter in your life, even if you have to push yourself. You'll be glad you did, I promise. 

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

Copyright 2015

No comments:

Post a Comment