When I started this blog, I never intended to write much from the “spill my guts” point of view. I thought I would blab about things that people are afraid to talk about and keep my personal life to a minimum.
However, every now and then I do share things without delving much into specific details but for this entry, I will make a rare deviation.
MOTHER’S DAY BLUES
So, today (Sunday) is Mother’s Day but it was not a thrilling Mother’s Day. I called my mother to wish her a happy mother’s day but I also wanted to check in on her and my father.
After talking to her, I made a number of different calls to different family members regarding the reason for my Mother’s Day Blues. They were not easy calls but they had to be done. When my last call was made, I was drained.
For the entire day, I was stuck in the same place in my bedroom unable to do my normal Sunday routine. A routine I have done for many years. My mind was racing and my body was lethargic. I wanted to get up and get going but it just wasn’t happening.
THE RECENT BACK STORY
I had been off work for two weeks. The first week was a minor surgery recovery and the second week was a previously planned vacation. The Sunday before I had to return to work, I felt myself having mild anxiety. I recognized one of the symptoms of burnout – again.
I dragged myself to work that Monday morning and barely mentally survived the whole week but was internally in a pissy mood. I just didn’t want to be there and I couldn’t shake it. All my interventions were not working. On top of this, a close coworker friend had taken another job so, I was missing the ‘I don’t want to be here’ stress relief. All my coping skills *poof.*
Even though I had walked away from doing therapy, my job still requires me to see patients for ‘light’ interventions and completing initial assessments. I taught myself a long time ago how to turn off personal and be engaged and professional. However, once a session was done, the “I don’t want to be here came back” to the point where writing the note was a struggle. Anyway, last Wednesday night a family member texted me at 12am to say she was worried about my father.
CUP RUNNETH OVER
Having been filled to the brim with not wanting to be at work, listening to people’s stories and missing a good friend, my cup was so full that my only response was “I don’t know what to tell you.” One or two more exchanges happened and I went back to sleep peacefully.
On Friday, another family member spoke to me with additional news about my father’s health. This was during my lunch time. I listened and then went back to lunch. I didn’t have a second thought about the conversation.
At work, I had a walk-in crisis patient which is my job to assess. I did my job and went on about my business. Apparently, I did my job too well. So, my Friday ended with my supervisor (who is her therapist) making a bad call to put a complex ‘therapy’ patient on my stress management case load because the person liked talking to me and opened up more to me in 1hr than she did with her therapist. I was pissed!!!! My polite objection with resting bitch face was overridden. WTF.
I am not trying to be arrogant but I am good at my job and was a good therapist BUT I left it for a reason. So, now I am pissed, in addition to everything else, that I will have to take on a patient that should have gone to someone else because my supervisor/supervising clinician has major control issues.
Yeah, I felt the strong urge to be on a very long vacation.
THE REAL ISSUE
I should have made contact with my parents since Wednesday but my brain could not handle it. So, I decided I was going to wait until Mother’s Day to call. I needed the time to do some mental dump. However, my mother called me on Saturday to relay the entire issue. My father has Alzheimer’s.
He had been having minor confusion episodes which I was just hearing about but in the last week, he had a major episode that resulted in him being taken to the hospital. He was given the diagnosis. He is 84. This is my fourth close encounter with Alzheimer’s. Is there something in the water?
You see, until recently, my father was taking care of my mother who was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma – form of blood related cancer. In a miraculous turn of events, my mother started improving significantly and now to turn around and become the caregiver of my father. My mother had become completely dependent on my father, who took care of everything, so this must be very scary for her. I know she is stressed.
I am the youngest. I take on the behavior of the youngest mixed with an oldest/only child traits. I don’t shy away from taking charge and giving orders. I spent Mother’s Day coordinating with family because I am planning to take on the care of my parents full-time. Actually, I am hoping to make the changes before the summer ends.
I am not afraid of the responsibility so that doesn’t scare me. I am drained because first, I saw my once independent and active mother became weak and fragile due to her illness and now, seeing my father become weak and fragile and losing his mind with only a few days notice.
It’s hard seeing my parents become the ones who need my help. I know that’s life but the reality of it is quite a bit. The saying is ‘once an adult and twice a child.’
I have always been private. I will carry on my days and no one will be the wiser. I only share with those who are close to me and that’s only 1-2 people and the family who needs to know.
I don’t need sympathy from strangers – that’s not me. However, I recognize that between my burn out from my job (I am dragging ass each morning) and trying to coordinate with getting my parents under my custody, I will be waging my private battle. I also will be using my supports but….the battle is still mine.
Even though I am a wayward church goer, I have no beef with God. Actually, prayer is my comfort chatter. I spill the beans. Sometimes, I am not sure what to pray for so, I just chat about what’s on my mind. The ease of prayer for guidance.
This brings me back to being physically fatigued and mentally racing on Mother’s Day. My cup is FULL.
For those of you who understand what it means to have your ‘cup full’, I have no flowery poetic words of wisdom. You just have to do what needs to be done and still find the time to take care of yourself – mind, body and spirit.