Helping Myself

AMD is a long-term distress to be tolerated. I have been using my distress tolerance skills to get through day-to-day. The one I like and use a lot is activities. I like to keep busy.

However, since my husband is incapacitated, things have gotten harder. I might be a bit too busy. Just as an example, I have the added need to visit him in the hospital but I have lost a major source of transportation.

I have FINALLY been approved for the public transportation. They have a weird schedule, though. I could only go to the town where the hospital is early in the day and could only get a ride home before mid-afternoon.

After that my coach apparently turns into a pumpkin. Don’t any of the people riding this service have lives? Apparently not.

I have made reservations for rides to work Thursday and Friday. It is against my better judgment to start with something important like that. I have the terrible feeling I am going to be late even though my pick-up time is a full hour before my work day starts.

I have to take some of the burden off of my friends, though. They have been incredibly supportive during this crisis but these are extra trips are out of their way. I know it will become vexing. I love my people and I believe my people love me but I cannot just collapse and expect them to totally support me.

God helps those who help themselves, I have been told.

Yesterday my friend and her husband took me kayaking. Yes, an activity but also a ‘pushing away’ distraction. Once I was on that river I mentally put away everything that was happening on shore. It was a very nice hour.

My friend had volunteered to drop me off at yoga but I declined. I could have gotten a ride home from there but I decided not to go. The Beastie Baby had been spending too much time alone for one thing. I had to go home and ‘contribute’ to her. Taking care of others is a good distress tolerance skill.

I also had to take care of myself. I have been dropping weight on the ‘macular degeneration diet’, unable to get to my sources of Chinese take-out and ice cream. These past few weeks have been worse. I have not been getting much to eat that wasn’t ‘junk’.

So, ignoring that it was after 8 pm and the fact I really did not want to cook, I made myself a nutritious meal. Semi-proper eating, good food at a bad time. It is the one E in PLEASE.

After that it was a hot bath and off to bed. Soothing through touch and proper sleep. That is the S in PLEASE, of course.

Feel guilty about taking care of me? Nope. Yes, I could have worked the phones and begged people for rides to the hospital. It is walkable in about 90 minutes, I could have put on sturdy shoes and walked. The problem was, I was already stressed and tired.

The only way to contribute and support others is to support yourself first. A caregiver who collapses from self-neglect cannot support others. Last evening I just took for me.

written 8/17/2016

Next: Breathe and Accept

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