What I learned when my mother lost her memory!

Memory loss
I haven’t written a blog since February, it is not that I didn’t want to write I just couldn’t. I sat in front of the computer and then eventually broke down and did something else. January is when it truly hit me that my mother was not going to improve much more than she had and well, I was now the parent.
For many years now I have had great self care, but nothing prepared me for this switch in our relationship and my self care was not working, mostly because I was not doing enough. I was my mother’s caregiver and I was not clear what she needed or what to do about it. I called the people I knew could help but initially my mother refused to move, she was not comprehending how it was not working with her living alone anymore.
It took four months and me finally saying I could not keep living the way we were living. She was distressed daily at this point but couldn’t remember her stressed out calls to me. She was freaking out three or four days a week and sometimes everyday and then couldn’t remember she had called or what it was about.
It was a roller coaster that finally slowed down when she moved into Senior independent living. I still am responsible for her care, we talk most days and see each other often but she is no longer scared. I have experienced a lot of relief the last two months and have begun to feel normal and now my self care pace is back to normal.
I’m sure you are wondering what did I learn by now and here it is:
1. When you feel overwhelmed compassion is hard to find for yourself and others (my mom was getting it all)
2. Your regular regiment of self care may not be enough when a top ten stressor appears in your life.
3. Surround yourself as quickly as possible with people that love you.
4. Be kind to yourself.
5. Delegate as many tasks as you can, if you don’t know what to delegate ask what they would be willing to do to help.
6. Have a friend or friends check on you a couple times a week.
7. Trust that you are doing the right thing, even when you are not sure what that is.
8. If you fall on your face, get mad, make a mistake, forget an appointment, yell at someone, get unreasonably angry in traffic: forgive yourself immediately.
9. I repeat be kind to yourself.

Greta Jaeger, LPC, Certified Life Coach
(404) 259-1335

Depression and the day I got my glasses

depression help

My new glasses and my favorite winter hat.

That was yesterday by the way. Yup, I got glasses for the first time in my life. I am now in my forties and my better than normal vision is no longer. I waited months and months forcing my eyes to adjust if possible, well it didn’t work. I need read glasses because my arms are no longer long enough to hold what I am reading at the right distance. Well, it was amazing a new world opened up to me again, I no longer have to hand things off to be read by the better seers near by. One day recently I could not read something and I need to read it in the next hour or so to take advantage of it. It was a sad day, I literally had to down load a thing on the ipad that magnifies things for you and could not get it to work. Now I have seen the light so to speak and am living more at ease with my new reading glasses. I guess because of what I do it was easy to see the common thread between getting my glasses and the lifting of a depressive mood. With the right skills and techniques we can impact our mood for the better it is often our stubborness thinking it won’t work for us or I tried it once and it did not work, that stops us. I am not ignoring that fact that medicine is often an important part of treating a mood diorder. I am saying for those of us with mild to moderate diagnosis of depression habits and behaviors i.e. working out can have a major impact on mood. It is easy to think after trying something a couple of times it does not work, but over a short period of time it can work with consistancy. The hardest part when you are depressed is motivation to do those havits that will change our lives over time. Particularly in our get it this instance society, we learn to want it now. The fastest fix I know is a combination of working out, hanging out, and getting your mind right. These habits all take time to impact mood.