When you try to help someone who doesn’t want help

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1236174_10151558384936990_620869118_nSometimes it feels like Alzheimer’s is contagious

The person diagnosed is changing

But so are the people effected by his decline

I not only wonder where he is going

I feel like I don’t even remember who I am anymore

My brain is intact

Yet the amount of energy and anguish

The stress and the uncertainty

The lack of family unity (not with our own three olive shoots, praise the LORD!) at a time when you should be able to rely on each other the most

It’s like we’ve been bitten by a Russell’s viperrusselsshoejpg

Which incidentally, is a very bad thing.

I find it hard to concentrate on much else

Alzheimer’s

Dementia

Destruction

Anxiety

photo copyWhat was I doing before this?

I was reading a book for pleasure

And now I’m afraid to even try to pick it back up

Because it’s another reminder of what life used to be

I cannot even find the tears

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Going through the valley

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Sometimes there’s more going on in a picture then you might realize. These precious people have offered me support in ways I never could have imagined. I love them beyond words. The Hubs isn’t in the picture but I love that man with all my heart.

Sometimes when I look at other people’s facebooks and blogs, I think to myself, “those people sure are having a great time. They all look so happy. It doesn’t look like they have any problems.” Huh.

I can further surmise that those people always have a clean house, plenty of extra money, no significant struggles. Can you relate? Have you ever done the same thing?

Recently an acquaintance of mine posted a picture of her family. Had she not mentioned that her daughter had nearly barricaded herself in her bedroom just moments prior, I would have had no idea. Everyone had  fashioned lovely smiles, they looked perfect. Behind the scenes though, it had been a different story.

I was at another gathering and a godly woman I greatly admire shared how she had completely lost her temper with her children. She had become so frustrated, she shattered a plate on the ground. I would have never expected.

I don’t enjoy knowing people are struggling but sometimes it can help me feel better about my circumstances.

To say that I have been in great emotional struggle for the last several months would be a major understatement. If not for the LORD, the Hubs and my olive shoots, it might not be an exaggeration to say that my blog might not be the only thing that didn’t exist.

Foggy places

Foggy places

The only way I can write this is because God has been moving mountains. The dense patches of fog I experienced when going to and from Chicago in October were emblematic for what it’s been like for me personally. With great reluctance, I have been examining painful parts of my past I really wanted to ignore. It wasn’t like I just woke up one day and decided it was time to tackle this junk. Trust me. It’s been a messy process.

I have literally been clinging to Jesus uncertain of the path He was taking me on. Had I been given the option, I would have gladly retreated and not seen my way out of the mire. The valley has been deep and treacherous.

The LORD has been my strength and my shield. He is seeing me through the darkness. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an archaeologist. It intrigued me to imagine unearthing hidden artifacts. In order to get to the treasure though, archeologists dig and sift. They bend over the dusty ground and tediously rummage through the worthless in the hopes of discovery. I never pursued that career option but I’ve been doing spiritual and emotional archeology. At times when I was unable to see what was before me and tremendous, horrible anxiety gripped every part of my being, the LORD granted me courage to move through it all. My husband and my olive shoots offered me unconditional love when it would have been easier to not walk alongside me. With the help of a Biblical counselor, my pastor and others, there has been restoration and promise.

Today at church during our prayer time, I publicly thanked the LORD for what My Holy One has been doing. We attend a very small church, we don’t handle snakes or do anything weird. It is a real and honest place full of sincere, imperfect people. I feel safe there in every way. I couldn’t stop the tears even though it was slightly embarrassing. Crying and praying out loud require concentration! I know personally what Psalm 31:8 means. The LORD did not give me into the hands of the enemy but set my feet in a spacious place.

I pray that this post encourages someone who might be going through the same thing. I send you my love and support.