Friday, June 28, 2013

The Luxury Of A Melt-Down

This Strange Post Title probably Intrigued you enough to stop by Today to find out why on Earth anyone would consider having a Melt-Down to be a Luxury?!?   Well... it did... didn't it? *Winks*  I know you were probably Curious and so I'll Explain my Logic.  Anyone whose ever been a Full Time Caregiver of Older, Sick or Disabled Family Members for any length of time realizes the need of occassionally Focusing on the Forgotten... which will be YOU, the Caregiver!  You NEED to allow yourself the Luxury of finding a Release for pent up Stress, Emotions and Frustrations so that you can get back to Center and Press on after you'e hit the Wall or Bottomed Out.  Since you often have to Suppress it all and remain Stoic, Strong and Selfless whilst dealing with Daily Issues Caregiving presents like Medical Crisis, endless Appointments and Therapies, and getting Lost in the Minutia of putting others First almost all of the time.
Though Caregiving for those we Love is done from a place of Love and therefore has it's Rewards and is certainly worth any Sacrifices, the Demands are often Heavy once someone becomes Older, Sick or Disabled or was born with Special Needs we didn't Anticipate and might not have felt properly Prepared for... or particularly Skilled or Trained to Cope with... and lack sufficient Resources to handle on our own without outside Help.  Over Time we can become Exhausted and Stressed.  We think we should be able to handle Caregiving Roles on top of busy work and Family schedules and often begin to Feel Guilty and Depressed as our Stamina wanes and we Realize we can't be All That and a Bag of Chips in spite of our Best Intentions!
Since you can't always have the Luxury of Retreating into your Work, your Art, your Blog, take a Vacation, Socialize, get a Respite or Run Away with the Circus if the Role of Caregiving becomes so Consuming it causes you to have no Choice but to Sacrifice most or all of that at times... I have found that I can always throw in the Luxury of having the occassional necessary Melt-Down and it's very Therapuetic.  Though it's certainly not Pretty... I no longer Feel Ashamed for having Allowed myself the Luxury of having one.   Not only does is remind me of my own Humanity and Limits... but it is an Indicator of the same to those I'm Caregiving for that I've reached Critical Mass and need to be cut a bit of a Break from meeting them at their Point of Need for a change and take a Minute to meet ME at my Point of Need as well.

In small doses the jobs of Caregiving are Manageable, but having to juggle competing Caregiving Demands with the Demands of your own Life on an ongoing basis can be quite a Challenge and become all Consuming.  So that your own Life practically doesn't Exist anymore... and that's a tough pill to swallow since Self-Preservation is a Natural Instinct just as strong as Love!  Depending on how long you've been in your Caregiving Role and what Season of Life you happen to find yourself in, the Impact Range can be wide and the Reality quite Intimidating that this probably has no Fairy Tale or Happy Ending.
And so, if I didn't Allow myself the Luxury of a Melt-Down every now and again, I might Retreat so far into Myself that I might never find my way out!  Because though the Facade of  being Stoic, Strong and Suppressing all of your Emotions and Feelings to get through what is Necessary to Accomplish for those you're Responsible for without going to Pieces works for them and what they Need, it doesn't always work for you in an Advantageous way.  Not like a Melt-Down does... there's just something about Keeping It Real and spending Time with your True Feelings and sitting with it all for a while that really works for you in a Healing way.
To just have that mometary big snotty Cryfest, Rant, wallow a bit in Self-Pity and how Unfair it all is, crawl into bed and pull the covers up over your head and refuse to come out until you've had a long enough Nap that your Fatigue diminishes to the point you can replenish some of your Stamina and Strength that has been depleted... and come out the other side the better for having Allowed yourself to be Human and Frail instead of a Caregiving Machine and Superwoman.  {Yes, Stats say that over 75% of Caregiver Support is provided by us Women!} 
I was actually very Glad Today when one of The Man's Therapists at the VA Hospital gave me a handout of Resources for Caregivers and the Stats because it really made me Realize how Valuable we are not only to our Loved ones, but to the Country!   In 2007 alone the Value and Contribution of Unpaid Caregivers was at least $375 BILLION, which is how much it would have Cost to replace that Care with Paid Services!  Thank You... the President and his Staff can Congratulate me Later for doing my part for Saving the Country Billions every Year for over two Decades now, which is how long I've personally been an Unpaid Caregiver!
After reading those Statistics and in spite of needing the occassional Melt-Down in order to Preserve my own Sanity and Well-Being, I Felt positively Saintly!   I spent the rest of this Day Polishing my Halo in fact... well, since I don't actually own a Halo, a Tiara had to suffice!  *LOL*  Every Home should have one... a Tiara or Santos Crown... just so you can Prance around in it and Feel Special when you're Feeling Down or Unappreciated.  I'm Serious, you can't stay Sad, Angry or Depressed when you catch a glimpse of yourself in a Mirror Prancing around wearing one of those!!! Believe me... because you'll look so Ridiculous and like a complete Fool!  *LOL*  In fact, increase the Ridiculous Quotient as much as you can, Humor is like a Good Medicine but with no Pharmaceutical side effects and Positive Madness is way better than Negative Madness I've found!
And after all... we NEED to stay Sane and Centered for all of those we Love, whether they need a Caregiver or not.   And sometimes there is a Happy Ending to what started out as a Sad Story with Grim Prognosis and Depressing Medical Predictions since Infancy... The Son is a Living Testimony to that!!!   There was a lot of Years of Intense Caregiving for Special Needs and just about everyone but me gave up on his Hope for a Bright Future.  And to have gone through so much, to have Invested and Sacrificed so much to Help him get to the place he is now, which Doctors didn't Believe was possible, is such a Reward.   I'm exceedingly Proud of and for him in every way... it makes me KNOW beyond a Shadow of a Doubt that Faith, Prayer and Love combined can Work Miracles because God pays Attention to such things.  And that you can't just look at the Problems and Challenges thru Natural Eyes... but thru Spiritual Eyes as well!
 The Son turns 27 Tomorrow and has headed for Vegas with his Lovely and Beautiful Girlfriend to Celebrate it, I'm so Delighted he has such a Good Woman by his side and in his Life.  We are so Thankful God sent such an Angel into our Lives as a Family.  She's as Beautiful on the Inside as she is on the Outside and we just Love her and Welcome her to the Family. The G-Kid Force ADORE her and she's so Good with them since she's such an Excellent Mom herself and extends that Beautiful Youthful Maternal Love towards them, which they so desperately Need and Crave.  She has given Gramma Dawn much needed Respites when she comes to Visit and spend Time at Bohemian Valhalla. 
Our Son is Godly, Handsome, Talented, extremely Smart, Outrageously Funny, Popular, Hard Working, an Excellent Son slash Grandson slash Brother slash Uncle slash Boyfriend slash Friend.   Those are the 'Labels' I prefer to use to Define him rather than the Medical Labels that identified his Disabilities.  Because I Believe your Medical Prognosis, no matter how Grim, isn't ALL that you ARE or should Define yourself by.  We Focused on his Abilities and learned to Deal with, Control and Conquer the Disabling Factors so that High Function and Hope became the Lifestyle and Prognosis. 
 No, the Disabilities didn't go away or have a known Cure, there are Struggles and Challenges as Miraculous Healing is still taking place and is Answer to almost 27 Years of Continuous Prayer. But anytime I'm even Considering Giving Up, Giving In or Giving Out as a Caregiver, I am Reminded of the Victories and what we've already Survived as a Family in spite of the Hand Dealt and how Daunting the Task.  And it is with that Hope, Faith and Attitude I Stand and Believe can be an Outcome for each Family Member faced with Sickness and/or Disabilities.  Happy 27th Birthday My Son... my Baby! {He Hates when I call him that even tho' he's our Youngest Child!  And Thankfully he never reads Mom's 'Decorating Blog' so that he's Mortified he's ever a part of it! Smiles}  And Thanks for Allowing Mom the Luxury of all her Melt-Downs and for doing all that you can to be such a Blessing... and always managing to make me Laugh and see myself thru your Eyes of Unconditional Love even during the Darkest and Craziest of times... you're an Excellent Son and I Love you more than Life itself!
PHOTOS JUST IN taken during a Caregiver Break the other day... so I hadda Share 'em, so Cute and obviously having such Fun Together!!!:
Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Having Moved through the recent Luxury of a Melt-Down and out the other Side more Refreshed, Replenished and Renewed... Dawn... The Bohemian

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A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

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