Good morning everyone,

My sister Diane has always teased me because I look at the world through rose colored glasses. She frequently calls to inquire how I am doing. “For some reason, I’m super tired”. Her response; “hmmm, could it be because you a haven’t had a full night’s sleep in 5 years”? Or most recently, “I’m so distracted. I can’t seem to get it together. What the heck”? She sincerely offers a solution, “would you like the list numerically or alphabetically”?

The New Year has certainly brought change. Corey has been adjusting to her new schedule and emotional awareness (aka Corrine is back!)and she’s been displaying her discomfort with these emotions with daily tantrums, including more public outbursts. In addition to coping with yet another new phase of TBI, Medicaid has also initiated change in their benefits and reimbursements as of January 1. I have been appealing denials for medications and medical services multiple times per week and let’s also add a pending nonsensical court conference.

Caregiving and life’s responsibilities are much like the old inflatable bozo the clown toy. You stand there smiling, challenges come from every direction but you’re anchored to your position with weights. The weights don’t represent burden or obligation; they represent security and the ability to stand fast from external forces that try to offset your balance. Although the toy appears to withstand multiple hits, it can in fact deflate from constant bombardment. This friends,contributed to our recent silence.

Feeling weary, sad and even a little depressed is normal. The trick is to reframe the thought; instead of an emotional wall, think of the challenges as a corner. How do you not get ‘stuck’? There’s no quick fix or immediate solution especially on the really bad days. Practicing perspective is critical to reframing the challenges. In my minds-eye, I’m facing the corner in a dark room. My hands help me push back and I turn around. The corner no longer muffles my breath, it braces my back. If I lose my balance, I now have support to right my stance. Breathe, process, adjust. I become centered and begin to reach out. I have no idea what I will find but somewhere along another wall, I will find a window! This is where my daily ritual of researching the internet for inspiration comes in. The words I find are like a breeze guiding my direction.

I found my breeze in Marc and Angel Chernoffs blog – 1000 little things happy successful people do differently. I’ve been reading and rereading their entries. The words have helped me bounce back. I’m beginning to feel less deflated. I’ve been reading their passages to Corey hoping she can internalize the hopeful messages. It’s difficult to reteach her how to develop and practice perspective. I’m hoping repetition will aide in the lesson.

We will be writing more this month. We are working on something new that will continue the change and recovery we are looking for. As soon as I have the details we will post. Corey will be posting more entries as well. It will be part of the process.

Thank you all for sharing this journey with us. I know I’ve said it in the past but your continued love, support and friendship is more valuable than you know. We’re 5 years out and in some ways it feels like the first 5 days. Your presence is our corner support. You give us the strength to breathe, process and adjust to keep moving forward, xoxo