You Can Rewrite Your Own Story
In the story of my life, I've always felt like I was living one of failure, followed by redemption. It started with a profession in fashion with a new promotion and it evolved into quitting said profession and becoming a full-time caregiver for my mother with Alzheimer's.
Now, I'm seeing my mother in the final stages of this disease and preparing for her to transition, but the story isn't finished yet!
Telling my Alzheimer's caregiver story
My story starts with my mother and my struggle in understanding her after this new diagnosis. I knew my mother was sick, but it wasn't until my mom tried to find her way home from work on her normal route that I realized she had Alzheimer's.
I think it's hard for people who haven't been through this process to understand how shocking and stressful it can be when a loved one first gets diagnosed.
At first, my mom merely forgot details like my age and my birthday. Sometimes I dismissed those incidents as my mom not wanting to acknowledge my adulthood. I thought her forgetfulness could be due to menopause or aging. After all, at that time my mother still had moments of clarity!
Sometimes she would surprise me with lipstick application (a talent I inherited from her). Or she would make one of my favorite meals. Most of the time these acts of my mom's independent living were few and far between, but they still existed.
Red flags and faultering Earth
It wasn't until my mom started to forget to care for herself that the red flags went off, and we went to see a doctor about her condition. Up to this point, I never realized how bad my mom was!
Doctors ran tests and gave me the news, she most likely had Alzheimer's. That day my entire world changed - it flipped upside down. It was one shock after another as I started seeing my mom go downhill more rapidly before my eyes.
Or at least that is what it felt like...
The toughest part of my Alzheimer's caregiver story
What's the toughest challenge you have ever faced? Would you have guessed I was on my way up in my career at the time of my mom's diagnosis? That hasn't always been easy to share.
After my mom's Alzheimer's diagnosis, I left my high-profile fashion position behind. It wasn't an easy choice - but my mother came first - she needed my help more than my career did at that time.
I hadn't lost my passion for fashion though! So not long after I started blogging.
At first, it was just a way to share my stories about my mom with friends and family so they could keep up with us. Then things took off, and blogging became my full-time job! This brings me to the hardest part of my story...
When you feel like your life is one failure after another, what can help you turn it around?
Rewriting my story
The real turning point was when I decided to rewrite my story - my truth. Speaking your truth is a brave and vulnerable act, but it's how we build real connections.
You never know when a page from your story will turn into a key chapter in someone else's survival guide! I love remembering lessons, successes, and failures of my past while knowing that for now, the story of my life reads, "To be continued." And if I do say so myself, this winding journey is what makes me a great woman, daughter, and caregiver!
What's an element of your story most people wouldn't expect to hear? Tell me some of story and how being an Alzheimer's caregiver changed your projection in the comments below, friend. Or share your story with the community.
Do you have a good system in place to deal with stress and burnout?
Join the conversation