The Room for Changing – It is a new day of change for everyone!
Viewing the innocuous sign, 'Women's Changing Room” atop the doorway of a fitting room in a department store is inviting for here you don something new to brighten the day. And, if it is a good fit, well, that’s the best!
The changing room that Judy was staring at was not to brighten the day, per se, unless the news received was positive; somedays are just plain hard. It was not so much that her mother was finishing up chemotherapy as it was the change coming over her mother - depression. She asks, When did she change?
But I would like to pose a personal question: When did I change? In the book The Dutch House written by Anne Patchett, Danny explains that he has decided to change. “It might seem like change was impossible given my nature and my age, but I understood exactly what there was to lose. The point wasn’t whether or not I like it. The point was it had to be done.”
Being a care partner is changing and challenging, remembering all the little tasks, preparing interesting meals, doing the laundry, providing diversions to keep things upbeat, to encourage walks, to redirect an unpleasant behavior – I’m tired, some days overwhelmed, but I’m wondering when I lost my cool, my patience, my will to stay positive? How can I get it back?
Looking for and noticing changes in your care receiver are particularly important but do not lose sight of your own changes. Judy Fisher ends her article thusly: “I remember when my grandfather was ill. Mom would always say to him, ‘You’ll feel better tomorrow.’” And maybe tomorrow, we will feel better too. If not, it may be time to seek help.
These are some warning signs or symptoms provided by the Mayo Clinic: Mayo Clinic
Although depression may occur only once during your life, people typically have multiple episodes. During these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day and may include:
- Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness, or hopelessness
- Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
- Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies, or sports
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
- Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
- Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
- Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness
- Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things
- Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
Life Lesson: “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities,” advised Norman Vincent Peale Take good care of yourself so that you can take care of others. “You know you have mastered a soul lesson when the circumstance has not changed but the way you respond has. This is true self-mastery,” the Mind’s Journal.