In the rooms, we joke that De NILE is a river, but in reality, it’s a raging Class 5 river that takes a while to calm it down and find that peaceful flow.
Coming out of Denial can take a while. It can take a whack to the head, a trip into a hole, and sometimes, just a reach to an overhead branch to stop the flailing. Only then can one see reality. Only then can one see not only what’s past, but what’s next.
Seems I’m kind wading in the river – or I was. With Chronic and nearly total debilitating illnesses, you know. You can tell how much a person can’t do. With chronic and partially disabling, but life destructing illness where the patient can do most activities of daily living — but can’t function — you can hide. We all can run — no one can hide from this forever.
Denial can be deadly to an alcoholic or addict. Denial isn’t always death. Denial has allowed me to continue a day at a time, dealing with chronic illness of loved ones. Denial allows me to stop and breath. So when does a caregiver move from coping to denial to unstoppable raging river of madness? And how does that caregiver grab that branch from above to stop the flow?
It still takes hitting that bottom. It’s not about addiction. It’s about human functioning. I suspect the brain gives us the ability to cope by giving us a dose of denial. Its not that bad if it just happens occasionally. In the Caregiver world, it’s not about doing for someone what they should do for themselves. It’s about stepping in to do for someone when they can’t do for themselves.
Bottoms UP! It’s time to dam up this river and stop it in it’s tracks. I know what I can and can’t do. I know what resources are available: NONE.
So it’s just time to admit what has been gnawing a hole in the fabric of our lives. We can’t not admit it.