Hey You!

Hey you!  … yes you!  You don’t have to feel this way.  You know what I’m talking about… thinking that you’re alone with the challenge you’re facing.  Chances are very good you’re not.  In fact, I’d be willing to bet there are many others who are or have been just where you are.  It’s not a great place to be.  I know, I’ve been there.  OK, I’ve been there a few times.  OK, I should get frequent flyer miles for all the times I’ve gone there.  You’ll get through it… and you’ll grow along the way, too.

Truth is, when we are challenged by someone, some situation or even ourselves, we have options.  We may not see them, but we do.  We get so wrapped up in how we should react that we forget to look outside of ourselves.  We just see what we know and what we know how to do… and we keep seeing it over and over again.

For example, when I was caring for my father with dementia I took pride in handling the challenge myself.  “I got this”, “ I can do it… I don’t need any help.”  I adored my father and it was my turn to take care of him.  This was how I could and should honor him.  If I couldn’t do it, it meant failure.  Oh, how the mind can play with us.

I did it until I couldn’t.  You know it when it hits you.  I was exhausted, sad, mad, and desperate.  Poor choices come from this mindset.

I reached out.  I reached out to physicians, nurses, aides, social workers, local organizations, support groups, friends.  It was then that the cavalry arrived.  With the help of others, we found a way to keep my dad happy, engaged, safe and otherwise healthy as long as possible.  The same went for me.  It was a win-win and a valuable learning experience.

Dad with his favorite nurses

I am in another challenge now and my very first thought was, “I got this”, “I know what to do.”  I quickly recognized the error in my reaction and righted the ship.  You can’t know everything.  You only know what you know.  So simple…  So I’m reaching out.  This blog is actually part of it.  It is enormously helpful.

So, do you get the point?  You are not alone.  Challenges will come and go.  You will have challenges come at you your whole life.  Look at them as not an obstacle, but an opportunity.  Nothing is a failure if it is a building block of your growth.  Your perspective means everything.  What do you see?

To your health,

Nancy Alexander

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