Although schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s are completely different, the coping process can be remarkably similar.
I had to learn that it was not what happened to me in life that counted, but, how I dealt with it.
I learned that although pain is inevitable, extended suffering is optional. There was no way that I could change the cards my family had been dealt, so, in time, I learned to change the way I played each hand.
It took years, but, eventually I learned to take one day at a time. I gained the ability to appreciate a beautiful sunset, a walk along the shore where I listened to the waves breaking and wiggled my toes in the damp sand.
I learned that my anger at Schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s were destroying me so, I learned to do something about that, and I did, slowly but surely. There were times when I felt that my heart had turned to stone and it took a long time to gain the ability to laugh, to feel even the tiniest emotion, and to be open to love again.
I was surprised when I drew up a list of the terrible things in my life as opposed to the positive aspects, and believe it or not, there were more entries on the positive side. Amongst other things, I am blessed with two lovely, supportive and giving daughters, five lovely, healthy grandchildren and two wonderful sons-in-law. If I’d been the one to choose husbands for my daughters, I doubt whether I could have done a better job. How much better can it get than that?
I’ll end this blog with a quote from Charles Swindoll :
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.