Monday, April 11, 2016

Reach Out!

Caregivers are constantly faced with decisions that challenge us emotionally, physically, and intellectually.  Often the issues that we face have no "right answer" and require a lot of consideration of how one aspect will balance against another.  Many times the hurdles we face resemble an algebra problem more than anything.  And I stunk at algebra.

This is where having people to talk to, consult, and confide in can make a tremendous difference in your life.  We have been extremely blessed to have family, friends, therapists, neighbors, and a pastor that we can talk to.  Perhaps not all of these people have direct knowledge of our situation, but they are compassionate, sympathetic, and willing to support us in any way that they can.

There are times that we need advice, but there are more times where we need love and understanding.  The day we moved Tyler into his new home was without a doubt the most difficult day of my life.  One thing that stands out among all of those difficult memories is the overwhelming support that we received from everyone.  We immediately began getting calls, cards, e-mails, and facebook messages assuring us that everything would be ok.  Our neighbors had a nice plant arrangement delivered to our home that day.  More neighbors stopped us during our walks just to ask how everyone was doing.

Looking back I realize how critical it was to remain open and to talk to these trusted folks. The more we reached out, the more support we got in return.  And the more support we felt, the more strength we would be finding to sustain us.  

I believe that you have to reach out in as many ways as possible.  This very blog helps me to remain strong by knowing that it helps others.  It also allows me to tell our stories which helps me to process my thoughts.  If you are a member of a church, reach out there.  If its possible, find a therapist you can trust.  Join chat groups which have people going through your particular circumstances.  Talk to friends and family that you know you can talk to without fear of being judged.  Ask your case manager or someone in a similar position for support contacts of people you can talk with who have been where you are.  Check relevant websites for charity events, walks, or gatherings of support.  Regardless of where you find it, make sure you find it.

Lastly, if you reach a time and a place where you are able, consider reaching out to help others.  You can be a mentor, start a blog, start a facebook page, etc.  The more of us who have "been there" can provide support to others, the easier their walk will be.

Be well and God bless.   Tom

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