As I was sitting in my bed just finishing up my Meditation as I bowed my head in silence about to say Namaste I realized that worry comes in stages. Perhaps comes is not the right word, I'm not sure how to explain what my thought process is at this very moment but let me try to explain.
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I know we all worry at some point or another maybe daily, maybe monthly who knows maybe yearly if you are so lucky. Worry comes with the territory of living a conscious life. Some worry is fleeting like a blink of an eye others can drag on like recovering from a surgery. It's not like we set out to feel this way, like we say "ok today at seven I'll worry for an hour then walk away" no. Worry comes on any day, at any second of any hour, at any age, in any neighborhood whether you're rich or poor.
Today I had what I call one of those long thought filled days. One in which I have a large to do list and the answers that I may get to clean up my list fill me with sadness and deep truths. I'm a firm believer in not allowing too much time to go by before you sit with an issue and find a solution. I don't want to drown in a problem or allow it to fester and cause me undo stress. After all I want to live a healthy life. So here's my issue...
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As I review my life I stop and pay attention to the worries I've experienced. I noticed that I got through them, after all somehow because I am still here. I found a way to pay my bills at 18 when I left home, I got a full time job. I accepted that partying every weekend was not going to be in my budget. I found a way to stay at home with my daughter for her first six months, I applied for public assistance no shame because I worked for my money they didn't give me anything for free. I found a way to put my daughter in summer camps during her youth, we saved and cut down on any extras. I found a way to stop feeling bad about having crappy friendships, I walked away from those that didn't value me. I found a way to end my relationship with my daughter's father after 18 years without hate and still lots of love, I focused on the good I didn't blame instead I focused on value and needed growth.
When my childhood friend was dying and there was nothing I could do, I focused my energy on showing her I loved her daily and making sure nothing was left unsaid. When I took over my grandmother's care I had no idea what I was getting into but I knew I would find a way to do it. When we didn't qualify for any financial aid and I wasn't going to apply for any loans in order for my lil mama to go to college I took a weekend to redo our budget and reviewed our finances and got on setting a weekly amount that I would put aside for tuition and books, when she just walked into my room after a full day at work sat at the edge of my bed and started to cry I took a deep breath and said I'm here for you if you need to talk everything has options and all problems have a solution (yes I'm writing and she just walked in). Worry.
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I'm sure I have many more to go before my journey is through but again I point to dealing with my grandma's disease that has sure made me put things into perspective. We have reached the last stage of Alzheimer's, I've been seeing it for some time now but didn't want to face it. Her hospital stay really escalated some events. This month has been a full month of Worry. Calls to insurance companies, social workers, visiting nurses, hospital visits, meetings with her home attendants.
I now have two babies, one that is 20 years old (baby #1) and one that will be 92 years old (baby #2) in less than a month. One that finally does everything on her own and can fend for herself and one that needs assistance and constant care for everything. One that knows me and would recognize me anywhere and one that has now totally no idea who I am. One that I have finally removed all the safety guards from and another that I'm starting to put safety guards up for again.
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Worry. Soft food diet, proper nutrition, proper hygiene maintenance, proper attention, over all safety and loving care. This is what I wake up with, these are my daily running thoughts. Most of my puzzle pieces are fitting together nicely and for that I am grateful. One piece that's being a pain is sleep. People with Alzheimer's especially in the late stages have no concept of time and sleep. They can go to bed at 9pm get up at 1am and not fall asleep again till 5am then be sleepy most of the afternoon. But that of course is a nightmare in itself add that the caregivers have to be on constant alert and that makes for very tired people.
I'm trying a variety of things to see what works but I think I may be loosing one of my caregivers which makes me sad and nervous because it means starting over with someone new again. But I have to also understand and consider the toll it takes on the worker and that is why I've been having meetings with them to express my gratitude and understanding. I set out a plan that I feel is the best route for the remainder of my grandma's journey. I've bought it to the caregivers attention asked them to think about it and get back to me shortly if it works for them wonderful if it doesn't I totally understand. It would require doing things as if you were dealing with a baby minus diaper changes which I really hope we never have to cross that bridge! But like I said I have two babies.
illustration by thequotepedia.com
I commented before that this disease has put certain things in perspective. Like when I'm feeding baby #2 I don't worry about rushing to get to my next task I'm in the moment because my time with her matters. When I'm taking baby #2 a bath I'm respectful that she is not comfortable with me being in her personal space but realizes she has no choice. I am sure to thank her for allowing me in her space every step of the way. When I sit with baby #2 and introduce myself I make sure to make eye contact and smile because I want her to feel safe and secure. When baby #2 holds on to my arm and says "don't let me fall" I say "trust me I won't let you fall your my viejita my baby #2" and she holds on tighter and let's me lead the way.
Worry. Whether fleeting or lengthy must be given its time. Must be recognized and dealt with but must never be held on to. Time doesn't stand still so don't be wasteful of your moments. My review is complete for now, for this part of my journey. My worries are still here front and center but they are attached to solutions, to options and to hope. Some will get resolved others will come to a conclusion and end. In the meantime I will invest my time in the moment grateful for the knowledge that all worry at some point ends. I have to be present in the moment for my two babies.
What do you worry about and do you sit with it or let it go? Do you believe worry is part of growth? Has worry ever made you feel literally sick or drained of your energy and hope?
Always stress free xo.