Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Great Escapes... Keeping It 100% Real

Any time Life might be heavy or getting you down I recommend taking a Great Escape... or even several of them.  You don't even have to go anywhere to do it actually, so long as you've surrounded yourself with those things you Love and which can Transport you to a different place mentally or emotionally that will be a Refuge to help relax and replenish yourself and get back to Center.  If you're having one of those, "Don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge...", kinda days, you're probably long overdue for one actually!

As you probably already know I will do this often and make a point to set aside some time to do it daily as a Gift to myself.   I didn't always used to do that though and the toll it took was self evident even if casual observers couldn't really tell by my typically Cheerful countenance.  I am a Content and Happy person by Nature, I wake up that way every day actually regardless of what might have happened the day before.  I Love Life and I really like most people, I can find redeeming qualities in even the most Unlovely people and situations if I look hard enough.  Not that Dealing with others and the Issues of Life can't derail that during any given day if I'm not careful and mindful about protecting that State of Being.

You see, the Positive Attributes in a State of Being have to be protected even though the Negative States of Being don't seem to require much maintenance at all.  They will just Be and go on Being and interfering with your Life unless you find your best way of Dealing with them to turn it around.   Toxic and Negative Energies are very draining to be around and most especially if you're a Sensitive to how those around you are Being.   I can almost Feel the level of Sadness, Upset, Depression, Anger, Frustration, Emotional Torment or Despair that others near me are experiencing even on my most Positive Energy Days even if they say nothing about it,  so I have to Guard myself from it affecting and infecting me too.  

Maybe that's commonplace for those with elevated levels of Compassion and Sensitivity to how others are Feeling and their Energy, I'm not entirely sure?  I just know I pick up on the Mood and Energy of others and it can and often does affect me in Positive or sometimes Negative ways whether I want it to or not.   Of coarse Positive Energy is equally contagious and that's always a Bonus to absorb and be exposed to... but I find in Today's complicated World that there is far too much of the other kind of Energy that is not at all Healthy or Pleasant to be exposed to or Deal with.

When it's NOT you who is the Catalyst of such Energy it can be difficult to fully understand and wrap your Head and Heart around... I always say that until it's YOU, then you can't really know and have an accurate point of reference.   Therein lies the dilemma for those of us who tend to have a more Happy and Content Countenance Naturally... we cannot be Happy for someone and it often Grieves us to see anyone in Misery.  Whatever their reasons for Being that way may be, it's tough to be around for extended periods of time or you risk becoming Miserable right along with them... or maybe that's just me? 

 We understand that they have to find that Joy from within themselves or receive the Help they may need to keep Centered and Balanced if there is an Imbalance in The Force if you will.  It is not Realistic to expect others to be responsible for your own Happiness and Contentment or you are setting yourself up for disappointment.  If there are physical or mental reasons behind being a Tortured and Tormented Soul then its just not so easy as receiving Encouragement and Support from the well intended and those who truly Care and Love you... I understand that too from Experience and Dealing with those Enduring almost daily Suffering in one form or another.

You have to remember to be Nice on Purpose I was once told by someone who had Endured many years of Intense Physical Suffering that was not able to be Cured and would need to be Endured with as much Grace as could be mustered for the rest of his Life.  That Statement made a profound impact upon me because I did not have a similar Point of Reference to draw upon in my own Experience.  And because that Individual was such a Joy to be around I now realized it wasn't an Initial and Natural way to be when you're in Chronic Pain and Misery, it was an On Purpose State of Being as well.   

Most of my Great Escapes have been prompted by the Physical and Emotional Drain of Dealing with Loved Ones who struggle with Chronic Negative Energy and Suffering that can make them not as Lovely as they could be and should enjoy in daily Life.  It can create strife, un-necessary Drama and relational strains when someone is unable to modify behaviors or countenance that would make it more Joyful to be in their presence.  It can also create a significant amount of Guilt and resentment for those who Love them and yet must Escape that environment in order to recharge and remain in a Good Head Space to Deal with it in the Fruits of the Spirit and not viscerally or in kind.

I must say that Full Time Caregiving has revealed a lot to me about myself that I didn't even realize I had in me... the Good and the Bad... my Limits and what would push me over the Edge of those Limits of Endurance, Sacrifice and Patience.   Certain things would Upset me that probably shouldn't, but they do... like those Commercials on TV that glamorize Caregiving and Caregivers by showing Smiling Saintly appearing people in those roles while ignoring the Realities it creates.   I do not like that my Life is not my own even though I Love and am totally committed to those I'm Caregiver of... I do not look like nor act like those portrayed on the Commercials... maybe they exist but I doubt it if they've been doing it for many years without adequate Help, Respites, and Resources.

I used to Feel very much Alone in those Sentiments and Range of Emotions I had about my Lot in Life as it currently stands and a fair amount of self-loathing and trying to do better and do even more than I knew I could brought me down to levels I hated to visit for any length of time because they were downright scary!   I hated some of the thoughts I had about Escaping for Real when I felt like I just couldn't do it anymore and had been pressed above measure and beyond strength... to faltering and falling short.   

But then I'd be reminded that if I threw in the Towel then who would be Caring for my Beloved Ones?  That thought was even more terrifying than just Dealing with it all again for another day because I knew the options and answers were not at all Positive in any way I could think of or knew.  They deserved better, actually better than I could provide in my feeble attempts to do the right thing by them out of Love.  But I had to Believe I was the best Placement and had made the right choices to accept the responsibilities even if they were sometimes forced upon me rather involuntarily in the beginning or by circumstance.

I Wished there had been Support Groups in our Area who Understood the Needs of our particular type of situation.   When I would hear about Resources I'd see if we could Qualify or if they would Work for us... they didn't... and that was disappointing, but not totally unexpected.   Some Resources are Good for those being Cared for... but few, if any, really address the Caregiver or meet them at their Point of Need so you just get lost in the minutia of what you do or are expected to do.  Piling more on seems to be more the norm than taking a load off and so Caregiver Burnout is a very Real end you will Experience at some point in The Process.

I did Learn to just take better Care of ME and make Time and Room for my Great Escapes as often as I needed them... which gets pretty often sometimes so I don't go wheels off the rails myself.   But it's easier said than done... everybody tells you to Get Away more since that's a no-brainer way of receiving Relief, few realize you can't just do it just like that without adequate backup or resources to fill in during your absences. 

 It has been a Lifeline of sorts for me to Connect with other Caregivers Online and especially here in the Land of Blog to realize that all I'm Experiencing was quite typical and even Abnormally "Normal" in this Role we've been assigned.  *Whew*  You have no Idea how much of a Relief that was so I'd quit vilifying myself!  Or comparing myself to those Saintly Caregivers on the Commercials that made it seem like such a Blessing and privilege to be doing what they Selflessly do so Cheerfully and Bright-Eyed all the time while Soliciting Donations to Help!! 

And it's not just me that those Commercials annoy the Hell out of.  The Man and Kiddos HATE those Commercials too because none of us looks or acts like that in the Reality of actually Living it.  The Man says he Wishes he WAS that eternally determined Smiling TBI Guy or Disabled Veteran, but he's NOT.  He Hates that Civilian Sponsors are being Solicited for the Proud Heroic Disabled Veterans like they're some 3rd World Child in Need because their Government isn't Honoring Earned Benefits they should be receiving to take care of them and their Families without relying upon Charity! 

 You see, nobody is being Represented accurately or in Truth, those they're Caring for in the Commercials are portrayed as Cheerful, Grateful and not at all difficult, uncooperative or unlovely in their Suffering or Torment.  I have trouble Believing that picture represented, nobody is seeing the Keeping It Real parts of their Lives and Challenges on those Commercials... it's very Cleaned Up and Sanitized!  Maybe they'd get more Donations if they showed the hard parts and people Keeping it 100% Real about what having to be Cared for and Caregiving is REALLY like?  Maybe that would just be too much of a scary dose of Reality for the General Public, I dunno?  Maybe it would be a, "Shit that could be ME one day!?!", wake-up Call to Joe Citizen.  Hey, nobody in their right Mind wants to Believe that one day that COULD be them... either Dependent or in involuntary Caregiving Role out of necessity... or the very real fear the Loved One's ability to find Placement, or appropriate level of Care elsewhere would be questionable, impossible or far beyond one's means!


I used to be Silent and Stoic about how I Felt about it all, mostly out of Shame or Embarrassment that it would look and sound so bad and Selfish to Complain or be transparent at all.  Then I realized the Silence should probably be broken and Great Escapes be Celebrated for those who Truly and Desperately NEED them and aren't getting them or Feel they just can't ever take them!  No more Silent stifled Screams and rivers of Tears being unheard by Human Ears... or suppressed to display a public facade so nobody will have to feel uncomfortable!  Yes, I Dream about Escaping ALL of the time... after well over three Decades of Caregiving in one form or another  for three Generations of Loved Ones I allow myself that Privilege now without Guilt or fear of Judgment.   Mostly because I know that the harshest of Critics probably have never stood in these shoes anyway and if they were one of us for a mere Day they'd probably Faint, Fall Out or certainly have a Fresh Revelation when it's THEM.  *Smiles* 

And No, it's certainly not Fair that anyone who needs Care should have to Suffer the Indignity, Suffering and lack or loss of Independence and Health it Creates for them to have dependency... it's Heart Wrenching in fact and one of the worst parts of Caregiving.  Not being able to fix everything that is wrong with it and make it all better and be everything to everyone concerned.  Pretending every day that it's not burdensome at all or how things should be, when it's the Elephant in the room everybody recognizes has burdens and Sorrows to it for everyone involved.   Life is no dress rehearsal so how it is spent is the bottom line, no do-overs.

I don't want to be Patronized, Commended or Praised... often I just want to be Heard.  I get that Sentiment from other Caregivers who don't need nor want to be Pitied, Admired or Martyred any more than those they are Caring for want to be portrayed as Victims or Tragic Cases.  In all actuality I'd rather NOT be doing this in a Perfect World, I'd prefer my days to be filled with Rainbows and Unicorn Farts... or even just Hope some days.   Just being able to Write about it Truthfully while Keeping it 100% and Advocate for those in this Role has been making our Misery a Ministry of sorts... which is how it usually is isn't it?  There's never a Test without a Testimony... this is Mine and perhaps it is yours too... in which case we will find a Camaraderie and Fellowship or Brotherhood.  So Keep On Keeping On and take as many Great Escapes as you NEED my Friends... after all, if we don't Deserve it, who does?  *Winks*


Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian 


  1. It's so good you've learned a way of escape, a stress reliever that is doable and gives you pleasure! God Bless You!

  2. I hear you. Thank you for sharing all of your testimony. Your story and images keep me returning to your blog. Thank you for sharing your journey.


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)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl