*** November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and Caregivers Month. While I’m gearing up to be my best next month, I wanted to share again, from seven years ago, on why I started this mission. My post appropriately is called “Why”.
In the past two years my life has seen some incredible changes, losses, gains, opportunities and harsh realities. And being a writer, yes I can stand firm on that statement now; several people have said I need to write about my life experiences. Mainly about what has become the hardest thing in my life; being a full-time caregiver to my mother who has Alzheimer’s.
I was given the great idea by several people to write about my experience, but when it came time to put pen to paper or rather fingers to keyboard, my head would start swirling and I couldn’t find myself to do it. I LOVE to write, I believe I’m good at it and Lord knows I always have something to say or to contribute, but I couldn’t find it within myself to write about this. After some self-analysis, I realized it was hard for several reasons. For one if I wrote on how I truly felt, some people’s feelings may get hurt in reading my blog, secondly, my emotions were too great most times and I’d find myself, upset, angry and crying; all things which have made me a heck of a poet, but was a block and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write about what has been all consuming in my life. I needed an outlet away from caregiving and writing about it put me right where I didn’t want to be. But they say the best thing is to write about what you know.
After more whispers from people, I decided to take their advice and convince myself to do it. I’m still angry. Alzheimer’s is a hell of a disease, and I know there are many great programs such as the Alzheimer’s Association for information and advice. But I’m angry because in keeping it real, too much is sugar-coated and there is such a lack of true help (physically and financially) for caregivers. That latter part is why I decided a few months ago to form a foundation for caregivers (details forthcoming).
As I’m stepping my toe into the water, I hope I can be a voice of strength and a shoulder to lean on for other caregivers and that this blog can grow to be an outlet of information and a place for understanding. I’m not here to bash anyone or any organization, but in keeping it real, maybe I can give some light to those who say they understand and have empathy, but truly don’t know how life is because they haven’t experienced being a caretaker. Whether it’s caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, cancer, aids, stroke or other health related issues, I know my experience is and will be different from someone else’s, but there are several shared experiences and emotions and hopefully this will let others know we’re not alone. Hang on help is here!!
Thank you for taking this journey with me…until my next post.