I hate Alzheimer’s. It is the cruelest disease ever perpetuated against mankind. When you are the caregiver, it can be so isolating and so lonely.  It is easy for others to forget your struggle, unless they walk your daily path, they have no idea what you must do to get yourself and your loved one through each day. 

If you haven’t yet read last weeks blog, please do so now, because you need to learn how to get through these tough times.  No one understands and no one wants to be around to help. 

When you start letting go of those expectations and hopes that a white knight will ride to your rescue, you really can start to live and even thrive when you are caregiving.  I’m walking that path with you right now.

I don’t have all the answers

I willingly help so many people, all the time without any expectations. I did have to learn how to reach this point.  When I discovered I was killing myself and it was not serving anyone to do so, I finally stopped hitting the repeat button and changed my beliefs. 

Helping people is important for many reasons, but mostly, it is why I am here, on this earth, right now. Still, sometimes it is quite lonely, even when I know I am not truly alone.

You don’t have to be a caregiver to understand what I’m about to say, anyone who suffers depression, anxiety, overwhelm, stress, panic attacks, physical pain, mental pain, and on and on and on…..you get it.  If you are alive and breathing this message is for you.

Because I’m going through these experiences as a caregiver, I will use that as my template but I know you will be able to apply this to your situation or circumstance regardless.

I don’t have all the answers.  I can only speak to what I’ve learned and how I’ve come to understand my role in this process.  Working with the Angelic Realm, I know that everything has a reason, and sometimes, that reason seems cruel or mean, but there is still a reason to experience it. 

Our job is to develop the awareness so that we can live it, love or understand it, release it and move on.  Our job is not to get stuck in it.  If you find yourself repeating experiences or behaviors, that is your cue you are missing the reasons for the experience.

Where Are You When I Need You?

Where are you when he’s screaming his head off at the dogs, kicking them because he’s mad at the world?

Where are you when he tells me he doesn’t live here and wants to go home but he has no idea where home is?

Where are you when I have no nerves left and I can’t breathe from the weight of being the only one here to manage things?

Where are you when I need a friend but don’t have the energy to talk? 

Where are you when I feel so alone and overwhelmed?

Where are you when I have to shove a fist in my mouth to silently sob, while pretending to go to the bathroom, just so I can get it out and be able to continue on? 

Where are you when my heart breaks sometimes minute by minute as I watch his decline and am powerless to do anything about it?

You are right here, by my side.

Holding me up. Helping me put one foot in front of the other.

You are keeping me alive when I forget to eat all day and wonder why I’m dizzy and it’s already 3 pm.

You are keeping me going when I have nothing left to give.

Thank you God.

Thank you Angels.

Without you, I would not be here. 

Without my Faith, I would be just as lost as he is, only mine would be from losing my awareness while his is from losing his ability to have awareness.

There are a million blessings waiting to be discovered

You bless me with a burst of colorful flowers in the corner of the yard in the middle of winter. You delight me with the smell of sweet rain or the beauty of silence when it snows .

You give me strength when I have none. You send my cat over to nuzzle me and lick my hand. You send my dogs over to nudge me out of my sadness, allowing me a moment to snuggle them and shower them with kisses I don’t get anywhere else.

You give me peace when I am at my breaking point. You send me reminders of the beauty, grace and blessings of life at every moment and you bless me with the ability to see it, know it, appreciate it and bask in the love I know you are sending me to get through this.

Alzheimer’s is a challenge, but not one I will get through without you.

As he deteriorates and gets lost in his own world, I am left to witness the aftermath of it all. I’m left to learn how to thrive through the dark days and heartache.

I’m left to remember that loving myself is more important at this point than anything else, for it is in remembering that love that I honor you.

It is in not allowing myself to become a victim to his disease that I am strong.

It is in knowing that I can get through anything with you. It is in understanding that no one was ever meant to meet challenges alone.

Angels come in all shapes

Sometimes you send me a human angel, animal angel or an elemental spirit to help me. Other times you send me flashes of light, fill me with bliss or force me to bed so I can rest my weariness for a bit.

You never leave me. I know this. I see it. I love my life because of it.

I do not give up because of you. As hard as it is sometimes, I know my truth is to be stronger than the challenge.

So during those times when I fall back into humanness and forget to stay connected with your grace, I am most thankful when you reach your loving hand and lift me back up.

It is through this complete faith that I know I am never alone. I can not express my gratitude enough for that blessing.

Thank you for the lessons I’ve learned, the strength and courage I’ve developed and the wisdom and peace to see the good that can come of this journey.

There are many blessings to be found. I have taught myself how to look for them in every thing, in every nook and cranny of life. 

Science has proven how the brain only sees what you already believe.  When you have the willingness to see things differently, suddenly, things can change in an instant.

Do you need to be right or can you be happy?

Henry Ford is famous for saying “No matter what you believe, you will always be right.” 

Are you walking around saying you hate your body for being too fat, or your spouse for getting sick on you? 

I had to work through a lot of anger at my spouse for breaking our agreement to grow old together.  He got old, I didn’t.  He got Alzheimer’s and I got the job of watching him decline. 

SO NOT FAIR!!  But the truth is, he gave me a gift.

I had to learn new beliefs.  I had to start seeing my world through different lenses.  I had to forgive myself for not being a perfect caregiver.  I had to forgive myself for not loving myself as much as I love him and allowing this horrible disease to keep me from seeing the blessings when they come.

You cannot be angry and happy at the same time.  That is truth, it is natural law.  Smiling and screaming can’t happen.  Your scream will turn into laughter or your smile will turn into a grimace, but you cannot hold the energy of a smile and be mad at the same time.  It is impossible.

So why not focus on finding that spark of light in all things instead of the misery of the situation?  Yes, your body may not cooperate with your wishes, so find something you can do. 

If snowboarding is no longer an option, find joy in learning a new skill that lets you enjoy the snow and in so doing, open yourself up to new beliefs in something you wouldn’t have been open to otherwise.

Humans tend to ‘want’ to stay stuck in old habits, outdated plans or ideas, and over used relationship advice. 

Recently a dear friend was nudged out of a job she created and enjoyed.  She was given an opportunity to work in a different department but it did not bring her joy.  She knew it was not feeding her soul, so she declined and walked away from that job.

Instead, she was able to develop her own course, and begin teaching students her own material, with the joy and love for her subject she was never able to do in the past job.  She allowed herself to walk a different path to get her to where she wanted to be. 

Be like my friend.  She allowed herself to welcome a way that never would have been thought possible before.  That is allowing grace to guide you, to help you take a leap of faith and develop new beliefs.

I am forever an optimist of Love and Light.  It is a reminder that no matter what, I am never alone.  Neither are you.