How do I Conquer Loneliness and Loss?

It’s a fact, that as we grow older many of us must deal with the death, or departure of a spouse or another loved one. We are often faced with a life altering void we call loneliness.  After the numbness wears off; we find ourselves asking the question:  How do I conquer this loneliness and loss I am feeling?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a grieving process that everyone who has suffered this kind of loss must go through.  And we all will travel through it in our own unique way, and at our own unique pace.

 

Here is a piece of poetry/prose that I wrote the subject.

 

Without You

 

I sit alone with four walls closing in;

And silence so loud I can almost hear it.

The absence of voices and laughter;

Of discussions, disagreements and reconciliation.

 

Now there’s only me, talking to myself;

Trying to make sense of senselessness.

Wondering what went wrong

How can it be, that you’re gone?

 

Gone. What a lonely word!

Full of emptiness, regret and solitude.

And an aching longing that won’t subside

But winds itself, like a vine, through each minute of my life.

 

Why did you take you take my joy with you;

And let your memory here to torment me?

Stirring up a longing for things that are past,

And never will be again as they were?

 

Today has become something to endure.

Tomorrow looms over me like a shadow.

Yesterday is gone; yet remains in my mind;

Like an ink stain that won’t wash away.

 

Still I stand; I am still here.

You didn’t take all of me with you.

And something in me won’t let go of hope,

For a better day, some tomorrow, without you.

 

 

By Jean Brickley      June 16, 2017

 

 

There are stages we all go through in the grieving process. We may go through them in a different order or with different timing; but the stages are experienced by all.

 

In the book On Grief and Grieving, author, Elizabeth Kubler Ross, MD and David Kessler, describes five stages of grief as follows.

 

  1.  Denial

  2.  Anger

  3.  Bargaining

  4.  Depression

  5.  Acceptance

 

To read in more depth, you may purchase this book at Amazon. Just click on the link below.

 

It may help us to realize we aren’t the only ones dealing with loneliness and grief. Grief is experienced differently; but there are things that all grieving people have in common.

 

The lonely, or grieving person may get stuck for a while in one stage or another.  Or the order may be switched around in some people.  Or we may move in and out of the different phases.  Don’t be disappointed if you seem to go backward sometimes.

 

 

 

Let me recall my steps through my grief after the death of my father.  Perhaps reviewing this journey will help someone who is going through their own through death or divorce. His death came as a shock to me; because he was doing so well, even the day before he got sick and died.

 

I experienced the death of my mother first; but it was somewhat different, because she had gone so far down physically and mentally; that it seemed almost like a blessing to not have her suffer any more.  In spite of that fact; I still have had to walk through the different stages of grief, and in some ways I am still on a healing journey from the loss of both parents.

 

 

What I felt after my dad’s death.

 

I remember feeling numb, but yet so much pain; and I was in disbelief. I had to take care of things like the coroner, funeral arrangements, etc.  I went through all that in a daze. The numb feeling only lasted only a few days for me.  As I began to accept reality, it was replaced by an empty ache.

 

I suppose I felt some anger; but it was mostly a lot of “What if” questions. What if I would have taken him to the hospital sooner. What if the doctors would have handled it differently?  Did I make the right decisions for his care on that fateful day?

 

 

Perhaps I went from the denial or numb stage, through a stage of struggling to accept this as God’s will and straight to the questioning phase.

 

I think I would go in an out of the different phases according to how I was feeling that day.  I would think I was done crying, until something would remind me of him, and bring me back to tears.

 

 

My attention was drawn away from my grief, somewhat, while going through their belongings to get prepare for an auction.  This was both difficult and therapeutic.  I went through the gamut of emotions during this time.  And the day of the auction was heart wrenching.  It felt like strangers were coming in, buying and carrying off pieces of my parent’s life.

 

 

Next came the depressed stage.  The stage where I had to admit to myself that he really was gone.  Both of my parents were dead.  This fact was compounded by the fact that I was the main caretaker, and had been devoting a large part of my life to that purpose.

 

 

 

Their death left me with a void, where that purpose had been.  I am not one to get knocked down and just lay there.  I realized pretty quickly that I would have to find a new purpose to fill that void. 

 

 

I thought of taking a part time job; but I didn’t really like the thought of fighting traffic and joining the rat race again.  That’s when I stumbled across an internet affiliate marketing training program that you could start for free.  It was called, Wealthy Affiliate.

 

Wealthy Affiliate

 

If I joined with a free starter membership, I would also get seven days of free lessons; and two free websites.  I was impressed that they didn’t ask for money upfront.

 

Still, I didn’t join on a whim.  I researched to see if it was a scam.  To my amazement; the majority of reviews were overwhelmingly positive. They didn’t promise a “get rich quick” formula.  Right up front they said internet affiliate marketing would take hard work and time.  I needed something to fill my “loss of purpose” void and give me a new purpose; so I joined.

 

 

It was just what I needed.  I was kept busy, learning new things, and using my creativity.  I enjoyed making new friends in the community.  The amazing part was, my new friends were from many different countries and ethnic backgrounds.  It was interesting and fun to read the blogs other members wrote, and comment on them.  I loved writing blogs on the WA site, and getting positive feedback from other members.

 

 

If you have an interest in affiliate marketing; you can find out if it is something you would like without paying any money upfront.  Just click on the link below to check it out.

 

 

 

Joining WA helped me get through the depressive phase.  Time has helped with the acceptance phase. I think I am now in a healing phase.

 

If I were to add any phase to the wonderful list found in the book, On Grief and Grieving by Elizabeth Kubler Ross, MD and David Kessler; it would be the “healing phase”.  When acceptance takes place, we are then able to start healing.

 

 

Below are a few points of my own that may help you move through the different stages of grief smoothly.

 

  • Give yourself some adjustment time at the beginning.  If you need extra sleep, take it.

 

  • Be kind to yourself.  “What ifs” will plague you; but realize that you did the best you could.

 

 

  • Be forgiving toward others.  Friends don’t always know what to say.  They say the wrong things and can hurt us.  But being angry and unforgiving will not help.  Usually the offenders meant well.

 

 

  • Don’t allow yourself to remain isolated and alone for extended periods.

 

  • It may take every ounce of energy you have to remain in contact with friends, or go out to any event, or even to attend church.  But it is important not to isolate yourself.

 

 

  • Reach out to other people with a helping hand.  If you are helping others; your own pain will be relieved while you are caring for someone else.  There is no better remedy for loneliness.  And you will receive God’s blessings for helping others.

 

  • If you seem to be “stuck” in some phase (for instance, depression), check to see if there is a grief support group in your area that you could join; or talk to your pastor, or a trusted friend.

 

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for prayer, or pray for yourself.  God is always listening and He understands our tears.

 

 

 

  • Don’t let anyone to tell you how you are supposed to feel.  You feel the way you feel.  And it is important to allow yourself to feel, and begin to work through your feelings, so you can heal.

 

  • When you have worked through some of the phases; you will find it comforting to remember the good things about your loved one; even if it makes you cry.

 

 

 

  • Don’t be afraid to talk about the person you lost, especially to people who knew them well and loved them too.

 

  • Don’t hold your feelings in and act strong.  Not allowing yourself to cry, can prolong the grief process.  Just allow yourself to feel what you feel, when you feel it.

 

  • Find an interest.  Unwrap your creative self.  This is a good time to try a new craft, write a poem, learn to play a musical instrument, or take up painting, etc.

 

 

 

  • Allow God to comfort and heal you.  God sent the Holy Spirit to live inside us to comfort, guide and teach.

 

  • Count your blessings and cultivate positive thinking.

 

  • I have found it helpful to believe that my parents have gone on to Heaven, and are in a better place, and not suffering anymore.  I also find comfort in the fact that I will see them again one day.  We will be reunited in a land where there will be no more tears.

 

 

If you are grieving the loss of a loved one right now, please know that you have my sympathy.  If you need prayer, I will be glad to pray for you, or others in your family.

 

I hope that you have found something of comfort in this post.  Please use what you can and disregard the rest.  Everyone grieves differently. You must find your own path and walk in it.

 

Please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.  Your thoughts are important to me and I will answer all comments as soon as possible.

 

Thank you for stopping by.  Come back again soon.  I love company!

 

 

At your service,

Jeannie

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Who Am I

Hi retirees and other cherished friends.

It seems that each one of us, at one time or another, has asked the question, “Who am I?”.  It seems like a simple enough question; but many of us don’t really know who we are, what our talents are, what we enjoy and what we want from ourselves, and from life in general.

When we retire we have more time to ponder this question.  But how do we go about finding out who we really are?  Sometimes we are so caught up in trying to be what others want us to be; it is hard to separate our own desires for our lives from the desires of those who would like to tell us who to be.

Just remember, it is your life.  No one else can live it for you.  We only get one chance here on earth to live the life we want.  If we let others dictate to us who we are or should be; there won’t be time to be the person God meant us to be.

I am not an expert in the art of self discovery, and remaining true to ourselves; but I do have some ideas that might spark your inner desire to find out who you are and what you want.  Use my ideas to craft your own plan of self knowledge and self endowments.

 

What are endowments?

Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change. Stephen Covey

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/stephencov138246.html

 

Endowment (in philosophy) refers to the innate capacities of an individual, group, or institution. An individual’s “natural endowment” can be abilities, such as intelligence or strength, given at birth. An individual’s “social endowment” can be abilities attributed to the individual’s position within a social hierarchy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endowment_(philosophy)

 

According to Stephen R. Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, there are seven human endowments.

 

 

I haven’t read the aforementioned book; but I’m putting it on my “must read” list.  Please don’t confuse my humble writings with the book written by Stephen R Covey, The Seven Habits of Successful People.  I recommend you read it to find out what he has to say.

I am borrowing Mr. Covey’s primary and secondary endowments as a place to start our investigation of self awareness and self actualization.  Other than the borrowed headings; the following are my own ideas and writings and not to be confused with his book.

 

Primary endowments

 

Self awareness or self knowledge

Many people seem to fear cultivating self awareness and self knowledge; because they think it is being self-centered or conceited.  In reality, we must know ourselves and love ourselves before we can truly know and love others.  Asking the question “Who am I” is a start in the right direction.

Imagination and conscience

Imagination is a wonderful God given gift.  We can imagine our future in great detail if we put our minds to it.  Imagination is neither good nor bad; but we can use it for either.

That is where conscience comes in.  God also gives us a conscience and when it is in proper working order; it will tell us the difference between right or wrong.  However, if it is ignored over and over; like an engine that hasn’t been greased, it is not reliable.

Learn to use your imagination for good.  Imagine what you want and how you will go about getting obtaining it.  Imagine a better YOU.  Then believe that you can achieve what you imagined.

 

Volition or willpower

There is not much good in imagining if we do not have the volition or the willpower to carry it through to reality.  Volition and willpower are also God given traits.

Babies learn as they grow.  They find out if they can do something by trying it.  As they grow, restraints are put on that spontaneity, mostly for safety sake.  But sometimes so many restraints have been put on us in the past; that we begin to think we can’t do anything.  Or we have been taught that failure is a bad thing; so the more we fail, the less desire we have to try new things.

Failure is neither good nor bad in itself.  It is what we make of it.  We can take it as a defeat, and a reason to stop trying; or we can use it as a stepping stone or a learning experience, and a catalyst to go on to something bigger and better.

 

Secondary endowments

 

An abundance mentality

I’m not sure how Mr. Covey meant this; but here is my take.  Some think that having more is better.  The newest car, the best house, many possessions will make the person.  But possessions are empty of life and will not satisfy for long.

The quest for more and more material possessions is empty and meaningless in the larger scheme of things.  Greed has been the downfall of many people; and can take any of us to places we never meant to go.

 

God wants to give us abundance of peace and joy and make our life fruitful and satisfying.  It has nothing to do with possessions or earthy status.

However, the other side of the coin is; that some think that there is no way out of the poverty they have always known.  They see nothing in their future that will take them beyond the valley to the mountaintop.  God can give hope, comfort and new life in this kind of circumstance.

 

Courage and consideration

Some people have lots of courage, and little consideration.  Others have an abundance of consideration and not much courage.  I think God meant for us to have a measured amount of each.

If we have courage; and little consideration, we will go after what we want; while running rough shod over others to get there.  We may find it is an empty victory in view of the loss of self respect, and the inability of the material to satisfy.

 

If we have consideration of others, and always put others needs above anything to do with self; we may find that we will begin to resent those to whom we offered our consideration.  This is not to say that we should not put others first.  The Bible says that we are to put others needs before our own.

What I am saying is; we are God’s people too.  If we don’t respect and love ourselves enough to do what we need to do; then we are not living up to our full God given potential.  We need a healthy balance of courage and consideration.

Creativity

God created us in His image.  He is the creator; but he meant for us to be creators too.  He gave each of us creativity in different areas.  He put within in us a desire to create.  If we haven’t allowed life and circumstances to stifle the creativity within us, we will be creative and create as God intended.  See my blog for more on this subject.

https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/jeanbrickley/blog/we-were-made-to-be-creative

 

Self renewal

There are times that life throws us a curve ball.  Circumstances can occur that present us with a need to re-invent ourselves.  Some circumstances that are life changing are:  graduating from high school or college, marriage, divorce, job loss, health conditions, emotional breakdowns, etc.

We tend to think of some of these as endings; but they can also be new beginnings.  We have the God given capacity to rise above disagreeable circumstances and begin a renewal within ourselves.  God has said that He would give those who believe in Him a renewed mind; and that all things would become new.  Allow Him to begin that work in you, and He will make you into the person He created you to be.

 

 

Ten questions to ask yourself toward answering the question”Who am I?”

 

  1. What are my strengths?

  2. What are my weaknesses?

  3. What are my abilities?

  4. What are my hobbies?

  5. What makes me happy?

  6. What makes me sad?

  7. What angers or upsets me and why?

  8. Who do I admire and why?

  9. What are my passions?

  10. What are my convictions and spiritual connections?

I hope this post has sparked an interest within my readers to begin a search, within their own lives, for the answer to the question, Who am I?.  Self discovery and self actualization can be the beginning of a new and more fulfilling life.

Experiment by making up your own questions to ask of yourself.  Begin to know yourself on a deeper level.  Try to understand why you do some things and don’t do others.  What is behind some of the emotion you feel?  Look at the people you admire and decide what it is that attracts you to them.  Is this trait something you could cultivate within yourself?

Please feel free to leave a comment or question in the comment section below.  The thoughts and questions of my readers are important to me.  I will be sure to comment in return.

 

At your service,

Jeannie

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Grandchildren Keep us Young

 

 

 

Children’s children are the crown of old men;

and the glory of children are their fathers.

Proverbs 17:6

 

 

Do you have any children or grandchildren? I find them to be blessings from above. Not only that; but they may make us feel younger. They bring so much joy into our lives

 

I have a great granddaughter who is seven months old. She is such a joy to me. She has filled me up with so much love; and helped to fill a void from the death of my parents. When those bright, happy little eyes, set that gaze on me; I just melt. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh no, you say, not another proud grandparent bragging about their grandchildren. (well there may be some of that) But I want you to be aware of how wonderful it is to share those gifts from God with our children. The time flies by so fast. It seems like only yesterday that her mother was that small. Sometimes, I get a glimpse of her in her sweet daughter’s face.

 

What I am trying to tell you is; if you have grandchildren; or great grandchildren; don’t let the time slip by. Make time to be with them. Offer to babysit. They will only be small once. The time can never be recaptured. Relationships must be built while they are small; or you will not have one when they get older.

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe you are saying; “But they get on my nerves. I’m not feeling good enough to take care of them. It’s been so long since I held or changed a baby. I don’t know if I can take care of a child anymore.” I understand. I felt much the same way; but I overcame, and I’m so glad I did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My advice is to start in gradually. Have the mother visit with the baby; but when she does, hold the baby, offer to change a diaper; or mix a bottle, etc. Then after you are confident that you can do these tasks; offer to watch the baby on another occasion while she goes shopping for just an hour or so.

 

You will gradually gain back the confidence you lost. Remember, you can do anything for just an hour. Even if the baby cries for the whole hour, you know it is coming to an end. 🙂 As you grow more confident and start to form a relationship; you can increase the time you are left alone with the adorable little sprout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My great granddaughter has brought so much joy into my life. I laugh a lot when she’s with me. She is so funny and we have so much fun together already, and she is only seven months old. Everything is extremely interesting for babies. Everything is new and exciting. We lose that excitement as we grow older.

 

When we get to retirement age; we have a tendency to not see a lot that is right in front of us; even if we aren’t clinically blind yet. But believe me; I see this baby, and her excitement is catching. I look at things with a different perspective when she is around.

 

 

 

 

If you have pets; the interaction between the child and the pet is something to behold. You may have to step in sometimes so no one gets hurt; but it is so fun to watch.

 

My inherited parakeet, Tweety and my great granddaughter love each other. They love to just sit and stare at each other. As long as she doesn’t try to grab him; Tweety is fine with staring back at her with their faces about 6″ apart. He doesn’t sit on anyone else’s head; but he sits on her head sometimes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She has a cat at her home; and she is learning to be gentle with him; and fortunately he is gentle with her, too. It has been studied, and children who grow up in homes with pets have less allergies than those from pet free homes. Isn’t that strange?  Here she is with her kitty.

 

 

 Laughter is so good for us; and seeing the world through the eyes of a child can make us feel younger. Our health could even improve; because the laughter and the joy child brings is so good for us. We will become so engrossed in entertaining our captive little audience of one, that we may forget our own pain and discomfort. And we won’t have time for complaining while we are caring for another.

 

 

Sometimes as we get older, we draw more into ourselves. We don’t enjoy going out much anymore; and having people in is more work for our tired aching bodies. But withdrawing is not the answer.

 

Though it could be more comfortable to just stay at home, it isn’t good for our sense of self worth; and we need positive interactions with other people. There is only so much we can do as far as housework, etc. and then we find ourselves sitting in front of the television; begging it to put an end to our boredom with limited success.

 

 

 

 

Grandchildren can shine a very bright light into that dark place of withdrawal; if we allow them in. How long has it been since someone looked at you with such interest in their faces? How long has it been since you have been the center of attention in someone’s life, even if only an hour or two? How long has it been since you have had someone depend on you and look to you for their needs? We need all these things to feel complete. Grandchildren can provide all that and more.

 

I also have a set of twins (great grandchildren). They are in Germany because their dad is in the service. I am going to Germany toward the end of this month, courtesy of my son and daughter in law; to meet them. They also have a big brother, that I haven’t seen for a while. I’m so excited to meet them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a picture from Christmas time.  They have grown a lot since.

So if you have children, grandchildren or great grandchildren; don’t lose this time with them. It is a once in a lifetime chance to build a relationship with them. It is a time to experience the joy of their presence. You won’t be given the chance to experience them at this age again. The time will slip by and it is unrecoverable.

 

Spend time with your children whenever you can. Get to know your grandchildren and great grandchildren. Brighten their life as they brighten yours. Give of yourself and your time. Be young again through your relationship with a little bundle of joy. You will be repaid by toothless smiles, slobbery kisses, sticky hugs, and eyes that speak of love.

 

 

 

Doll gets kisses.

 Grandchildren keep us young

 

 

At your service,

Jeannie

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Complaining and Criticizing Kill

Yes, complaining and criticizing kill.

 

At this point; you may be saying, “No they don’t. I complain and criticize all the time and no one dies because of it”. I will explain this statement later on in this post. We will see if you have changed you mind after reading.

 

Does this sound familiar?

 

You get up on the wrong side of the bed. You don’t even know why; but you are just in a bad mood. Or maybe your day was going okay; but one unfortunate thing after another happened; and you find yourself complaining to anyone who will listen. Then you begin to criticize someone involved in the unfortunate situations, or criticize yourself. Does this sound familiar? “How could he do that to me, after all I’ve done for him?” “How could I be so stupid”; or “I have no idea why I would do that”, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

Before you know it; you are caught in the web of complaining and criticizing. Ask yourself how you feel when you are gripped in this negative spiral? Are you stressed? Are you angry? Are you upset? Yes, you answer, the situation made me that way. But how much impact would the situation have on your day; if you had handled it differently?

 

We don’t always have control over what happens to us; but we always have a choice of how to react to what happens. Well, you say, “I don’t really have a choice; I just get angry or upset, and I have to let it out somehow.”

 

To some degree that may be true; but you can learn new ways of handling that stress or anger. You don’t have to lash out with hurtful words. (It doesn’t make the situation better, or solve the problem) It is not necessary to complain about what happened to everyone you see. ( It is like re-visiting the pain of the original incident over and over again)

 

How do I learn to react more positive?

 

  • Delay your reaction. Count to 10, 20, or even 50 before reacting.

 

  • Walk away, if the situation permits. Sometimes putting distance between you and the offending situation or problem may be helpful. Other times it is not feasible.

 

 

 

  • Realize this situation or problem is outside you. Don’t bring it inside by rehearsing it with complaining and criticizing.

 

 

  • Forgive others, and yourself for being delinquent or disinterested. Our lives are busy; we sometimes don’t do things we should do; and we often do things we shouldn’t do. We are far from perfect, and require forgiveness often.

 

  • Be aware of your “self-talk”. We can talk ourselves into, or out of being upset, by our self-talk. Ask yourself, “Is this really as important as I am making it at this moment?” “How can I handle this situation in a positive way?”

 

  • Try to understand your own feelings; but don’t try to ascertain the motives of another person. It is highly likely we will ascribe an erroneous motive; one the other person never even thought of. And if we ascribe the motive in our mind; it becomes real to us; even if in grave error, in reality. If we don’t always know our own motives; how could we possibly know the motive of another person?

 

 

  • Ask yourself why. “Why is this upsetting me?” “Why am I so angry about this?” Keep your questions personal and about your own feelings. Don’t try to figure out why others do what they do. You will have enough trouble trying to answer questions about yourself.

 

 

  • Tell the offending thoughts and words to STOP! Then replace them with positive words and thoughts.

 

 

 

  • Decide you will not let this incident ruin your day. Nothing can make you miserable unless you let it.

 

How does complaining and criticizing kill?

 

It kills joy.

 

It is not really possible to have joy in the midst of complaining and criticizing. Until it stops, your joy is squelched, or killed.

 

 

It kills relationships.

 

How many marriage relationships are sacrificed on the altar of complaining and criticizing by one, or both partners? How many friendships are lost because of this negative habit? How many parents have lost the love, or respect of their own adult children; because of all the complaining and criticism they indulge in.

 

It kills positivity.

 

Complaining and criticizing are both negative. When we are indulging in these habits; it is impossible to think positively. Our positivity has been murdered by negativity.

 

It kills motivation.

 

Complaining and criticizing is a very draining activity. It leaves little room for positive motivation. Our motivation is squeezed out, until dead.

 

 

It kills thankfulness.

 

Who can be grateful for what they have; if they are always complaining about what they don’t have? The “have nots”, trample on the “blessings” until they render them dead.

 

It kills hope.

 

It is hard to feel hopeful when we are engrossed in complaining and criticizing.  We lose hope for anything to be better; because the future is clouded with the storm clouds of these two habits.

 

 

It could kill us.

 

Stress is compounded by complaining and criticizing.  Stress has a negative effect on our health. Over time it can cause all sorts of health complications; which could contribute to our demise.

 

 

Complaining and criticizing doesn’t change the situation. It doesn’t solve the problem. It doesn’t make you feel better; in fact you will usually feel worse. If we stand back and really evaluate the usefulness of these two habits; we will have to conclude that we would be better off without them.

 

Perhaps, it isn’t realistic to think we can totally eradicate them from our life; but we can certainly cut back the amount of time we allow ourselves to indulge in these two destructive habits. There are many more positive ways to spend our time. And there are many ways our voices in more positive endeavors.

 

 

Have you changed your mind from the beginning of the post? Do you see how these negative habits can kill? Do you see how they can have a destructive impact on our lives and on the lives of those we love? Do you think it is worth trying to replace these habits with more positive habits and actions?

 

I would appreciate your comments below. Please ask any questions you have, and I will answer to the best of my ability.

 

At your service,

Jeannie

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Is Your Memory Loss a Normal Part of Aging, or Something More Serious?

Hello again my fellow retirees and other friends.

 

 

Are you forgetting more lately? Having trouble remembering what you just did? Are you losing your keys, your glasses, your phone? Do you go to another room to get something and by the time you get there you have forgotten what it was you went there for? Are you making more lists and writing things down more because you just can’t be sure you will remember? Are you wondering if your problems with memory are just a normal part of aging or something more serious?

 

Advancing age does seem to bring with it a certain amount of forgetfulness. And as frustrating as it is to misplace things frequently; it usually isn’t anything to worry about. Writing lists is a good practice because it helps us cope with the changes in our memories. Forgetting someone’s name temporarily can be rather embarrassing; but as long as you can remember it later, it’s not really a cause for worry. In fact stressing or worrying about your memory loss may actually make matters worse.

 

Though all these symptoms could be signs of dementia, in most cases they aren’t that serious. The words dementia and Alzheimer’s can strike fear in the heart of anyone who is experiencing memory loss symptoms. In most cases it is just a consequence of getting older; but it can be a wake up call to change some unhealthy habits and exercise our brains more.

 

Dementia, Alzheimer'S, Clouds, Sky

What is Dementia?

 

Dementia is more of a syndrome than a disease. It is a collection of symptoms effecting how we think, reason, communicate and perform daily activities. The changes manifest themselves through our cognitive abilities, the ways we think, how and what we remember, how we process the input we receive. Changes in how we attend to our daily tasks, such as bathing, dressing, etc. may be an indication that we are experiencing dementia. There may be confusion, depression, and differences in how we interact with others.

 

What is the difference between

Dementia and Alzheimer’s?

 

Although these two terms are used interchangeably; they are not the same. As I stated above, dementia is a syndrome, or a collection of symptoms. It has several different underlying causes.

 

One of those causes is a disease called Alzheimer’s.

 

Alzheimer’s Disease has no cure. It is a progressive disease that eventually takes the life of it’s victim. The person with Alzheimer’s Disease suffers gradual decline in mental, physical and occupational areas.  They exhibit symptoms of severe memory decline. They may not only forget names; but faces.  There could be changes in behavior such as fits of anger, not understanding normal conversation, and asking the same questions over and over.

 

Dementia, Alzheimer'S, Age, Puzzle

 

 

The only way to make a completely correct diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is to do an autopsy on the brain postmortem. Physicians make a diagnosis from physical examinations, cognitive tests, blood tests, and sometimes brain scans. They can make a correct diagnosis about 90% of the time. Most people live 8 to 10 years after diagnosis; but some can live up to 20.

 

What are some other causes of dementia?

 

Dementia may be caused by vascular conditions, or hardening of the arteries. Vascular problems decrease blood flow which may cause strokes and disconnects in the brain. Dementia can also be caused by diseases such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s. Though many of the symptoms are the same; it is the differences in symptoms, and physical and mental examinations, that aid physicians in making their diagnosis.

 

Medications and treatments:

 

If you suspect dementia due to symptoms being experienced by you or a loved one, it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis. There are medications that may help and treatments that may slow the progress.

 

In my mother’s case, the side effects from the medications prescribed prohibited them from being a wise choice for us.  Others may not experience the same side effects, or decide that the benefits are worth suffering the symptoms.

 

Alternative Options.

 

 

For those who decide against the medications; or those of us who have not been diagnosed with any kind of dementia; there are some preventative measures that can be taken.

 

Healthy eating habits, daily exercise, eliminating harmful substances like alcohol, drugs and smoking, finding ways to reduce stress and participating in social activities may all be helpful.  Healthy oils such as coconut oil are said to have a beneficial effect on the brain; and may help keep Alzheimer’s away.

 

To read my post “Coconut Oil Uses for Health and Beauty” click on the URL below:

Coconut Oil Uses for Health and Beauty

 

 

 

Just as our body needs physical activity to stay healthy; our brain needs mental activity to remain healthy.  Activities that keep the brain active such as reading, crossword and other puzzles, brain teasers, brain games, artistic or creative endeavors, and social interaction can be beneficial.

 

Stress may be reduced by listening to music, relaxation techniques, prayer and Bible reading, and physical exercising.

 

 

As we age, our brain will age with us; but putting into practice some of these healthier habits, may slow down that aging.  Just as our bodies age at our own unique rate (which has a lot to do with how healthy our habits are); our brain aging will also respond to healthier habits.

 

In addition to taking care of your body; with healthy habits such as exercise, correct eating and eliminating harmful substances; also take care of your brain by making sure you are using it. Learning new things, working puzzles, reading and writing all contribute to keeping our brain healthy.  I am keeping my brain active in a learning community called Wealthy Affiliate.

 

 

 

Our brain also responds to pleasant activity.  Listening to or playing your own music has a soothing effect on the brain.  Artistic or creative endeavors both spark and relax the brain.

 

So as the old adage goes:

Use it or lose it!

 

I trust that this post has answered some questions for my readers concerning whether their memory problems are just a normal part of aging or if they may have something more serious.

 

To read my post “About Our Brain” click here:

About Our Brain

 

Thanks for visiting.  I hope you come back again soon.  I love company and my door is always open.  New content will be added weekly for your information and enjoyment.

 

At your service,

Jeannie

 

Images courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Disclaimer:  I am not a physician.  The information contained in this post was obtained by online research, and my own experience and opinions.  Please consult a licensed physician if you are experiencing mental decline and worried about your symptoms.  This post is for informational purposes only and should not be used for self diagnosis.  Thank you.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Post Holiday Blues

Hi friends.

 

Well, the holidays are over.  All that time of speeding around trying to get everything done, and now it’s over.  The presents are all exchanged  The tree is down and all the decorations are put away.  It’s good, right?

 

Then why do you have an empty feeling inside?  Why are you feeling a sad sense of loss; an uneasiness? You were so excited to see the new year in; but now you find yourself at loose ends.  Why are you feeling so sad?  There is a very good chance you might be suffering from the post holiday blues.

 

Tears, Eyes, Sad, Cry, Human, Face

 

You may be surprised to find that you are not alone.  To you it may seem like everyone else is happily dancing in to the new year, full of plans for how to make this year the best ever; but some studies show that 25% of us suffer from post holiday blues.  I’m guessing that it could be even higher; because there may be some people who suffer silently through it.  Trudging through January and February until March promises spring, green grass, flowers and sunshine.

 

Success, New Year'S Day, Year, Start

 

What are some causes of the post holiday blues?

 

The let down, after riding high on Christmas.

 

Everything was so busy, so full of anticipation.  You were bustling here and there,

trying to get everything done.  Even after Christmas, there were preparations for

New Years.  And there was the house cleaning to be done after Christmas trashed

your brightly decorated home.

 

Then the New Year bash, and more trash?  The cleaning again.  Oh, and are you

sure you returned all the presents?  And maybe you better hit the Christmas

sales to get a head start on next year.

 

And then you are done, finally, time to relax, right?  But you can’t relax.  You

feel empty, anxious and sad.  You have the post holiday blues.

 

The realization that the perfect holiday we planned

turned out less than perfect.

 

You started out the Christmas season determined that this would be

the best Christmas ever.  You tried to pick gifts that you just knew

each person would be delighted with.  You gather their lists and try

to make sure you get the most important gifts for your loved ones.

 

Even though you thought you were ahead of the game, you find

yourself in a crunch at the last minute.  It’s Christmas eve.  Tomorrow

is the day.  All of a sudden you remember, you forgot to buy a gift

for Aunt Mabel.  You still have so many gifts to wrap and you were

going to do that early; but now you need to run out after Aunt Mabel’s

gift and snacks for Christmas day.

 

You run out to the store, fighting the Christmas crowds again.  You

have to park clear at the other end of the parking lot.  Of course!

Anything to take longer, right?  You manage to get your gift and

a cart load of snacks and drinks for Christmas day.

 

You trudge back out to the other end of the parking lot through the

snow that started while you were in the store, and now blanketed the

parking lot and your car windows.  Groan.  Now where did you

put that window scraper this time?

 

You manage to get back home safely, through the slippery, newly fallen

snow.  After unpacking, you set yourself toward the task of wrapping the

rest of the gifts.  Now where is the tape?  Kids?

 

Finally you are done.  Why do you feel so exhausted?  You look at the

clock and find it is 3:30am.  So you drag yourself off to bed and fall asleep.

The next thing you know, you are awakened by excited voices.  “Mommy,

Daddy, it’s Christmas!  Santa was here.  Come and see!

 

Then comes the flurry of the unwrapping.  Jimmy doesn’t like what you

got him.  He didn’t want that one.  He told you what one he wanted.  He

pouts in a corner.  Sally didn’t get the gift she wanted the most.  She

doesn’t say much is occupied playing with her other stuff; but you are

keenly aware of her disappointment.

 

Little Girl, Toddler, Sitting, Monster

 

Then you look around and there is no where to walk without stepping

on a piece of wrapping paper, a box, or a bow.  So you drag your

unwilling, exhausted body around the room, scooping it up.  What a

day!  You fall into bed, exhausted.  You failed again.  Not perfect.

 

 

We are back to hum drum status quo again.

 

After all that running about, there is something empty and sad about things

returning to normal; and well, boring.

 

Gathering with family may have opened up some old

emotional wounds we thought we had conquered.

 

Getting together with family is one of the joys of the holiday season; but

sometimes it opens old wounds.  And you find that the brother or sister

you never got along with hasn’t changed.  Sometimes hurtful words are

spoken and feelings are hurt.  Maybe someone didn’t like the gift that

you were sure they would love.  Or perhaps you got someone something

you could barely afford, and they got you a box of candy.  When the

holidays are over, all these feelings flood upon us.  We don’t know what

to do with them so we feel sad, empty, and dissatisfied.

 

Having no family to visit on the holiday leaves one

with a loneliness residue after the holidays.

 

Everyone else is celebrating with family and you have none to go to;

or there is a rift between you and your children and you are left to

celebrate the holidays alone.  This feeling of loneliness can linger on

even after all the celebration is over.

 

If you are going through a divorce or some type of

family turmoil during the holidays; it hits even harder

after the excitement of the holidays is over.

 

The stress of going through a divorce, or any type of family problem is even

more acute during and after the holidays.  It seems even more sad.

 

You may realize that you have put on 5 to 10 pounds

eating all those goodies.

 

Oh, what delicious meals you had for Thanksgiving and Christmas!  All

the trimmings, everything you love to eat.  And it is the holiday’s after

all, so eat, you do.  And those scrumptious deserts, and of course, the

Christmas cookies.  You indulge.  You throw caution to the wind.

 

Bathroom Scale, Horizontal, Weight

You need to go on a diet because you indulged.

 

The holidays are over.  So you timidly step on the scale.  Oh no!  You are

repulsed by what you see there.  It’s diet time.

 

With less daylight, some suffer from sunlight deprivation.

 

There are some people who become sad or depressed when they don’t get

enough light or sunlight.  If you are one of those people this could add to

the other reasons for post holiday blues.

 

Sun, Sunny, Partly Cloudy, Sky

 

You are grieving for spring, summer and sunny weather.

 

If you are a person who really doesn’t like winter and much prefer the spring and

summer months; this could be another cause of the blues.

 

The new year has handed you an empty slate and you have

no idea what to fill it with.

 

There is a whole new year in front of you; and you haven’t the slightest idea what

you will do with it.  It seems to you as though everyone else has a plan, and is

starting out the new year with gusto.  But you are simply spent, exhausted, and

without a clue how to start this new venture.

 

An Array Of, Green Blackboard

How do we conquer and move on?

 

Pamper yourself

 

The holidays have taken their toll.  Give yourself some TLC.

Take relaxing baths in lieu of quick showers.  Do a total body

cleanse to get rid of all that holiday junk you put in your

body.  Go for a massage, facial or manicure/pedicure.

 

Center your life back on God and the Bible

 

Have the holidays done a number with your Bible reading

and devotions?  Take this time to move back in to His

presence.  He is your strength, comfort and ever present

help in time of trouble.  Turn back to your lifeline.

 

Adopt healthy eating and healthy habits

 

Make small changes instead of trying to diet right away.

Drink more water.  Eat more veggies.  Make sure to get

your protein.  Ease into better eating.

 

Get more rest

 

The holidays are notorious for stealing your sleep.  You

have spent all this time going without enough sleep.  Go

ahead, sleep in.  Go to bed a half hour earlier each night.

Getting enough sleep can have a big impact on how you

feel physically and your emotional outlook as well.

 

Become introspective

 

This could be a good time for you to take some time to think

about who you really are and what you want out of life.

Set some short term and long term goals.

 

Realize that “This too shall pass”

 

Give yourself time to recuperate.  There is not anything in

this life that is permanent.  This too shall pass.  You will get

through this time of sadness and emotional stress.  There are

better days ahead.  Tell yourself this.  Be aware of your self

talk and endeavor to make it positive.

 

If this feeling lasts too long, seek help.

 

If you do all these things and nothing is easing the pain, or

taking away the anxious emotions.  And time isn’t healing

your wounds, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Go to your

family physician, or go for some counseling.  You may have

a more serious form of of depression.

 

I hope this post has helped someone to be able to deal with

their post holiday blues in a more positive manner.  My reason

for writing this is to let you know that you are not alone and

there is help out there.

 

I want all of you to be able to get past the post holiday blues,

and any other type of sadness or depression, to a place of joy

and peace.

 

I consider my readers as my friends, and I want the best life

has to offer for each one of you.  May God bless and comfort

you through this new year.  May He show you the blessings

He has prepared for you and the wonders of His presence

in your life.

 

Thanks for stopping by.  Feel free to look around.  Click on

menu to see what my site has to offer.  I hope you come back

again sometime.  I love company.  I also love comments.

 

Please use the comment section to ask any questions, to

add something to the content, or tell your own experiences.

 

At your service,

Jeannie

 

 

Save