This break ended up being a break from technology to some degree. I rarely got on my computer, didn't watch much news, and pretty much vegged out as much as I could. I felt really guilty during this time, but I had to do it in order to take care of me. Everyone in my family also happened to get sick a couple of times during this hiatus I took, so that just confirmed to me that we all really just needed some downtime.
I have had a bit of a slow start in 2012 getting back to it all, but I feel that I finally am getting back into the swing of it all. I feel energized and ready to get back to advocating for families like ours as well as continuing to take care of my family.
Our program Silent Siren is really coming together. We are still in infancy, but we are making some serious strides in development. While working on some of the education pieces last week, the topic of self care for the caregiver was brought up. It really got me thinking about taking care of myself and how I do that. It is so often to forget this part when I get caught up in taking care of everyone else!
One of the things that I do to take care of me is to read. I read a lot of things about PTSD and other "work" topics, but I LOVE to read just for fun too. So, I've spent quite a bit of time the last couple of months reading, just for fun. It is a great escape for me to read a novel, that has nothing to do with my real life. I can travel to a different place, or time and just get lost. I realize how much I've missed it the last year when my life felt so busy I didn't have time to pick up my kindle and just read. It has been so great to get back to this great escape for me.
When my life gets crazy and hectic, I have to remember that I need to still take care of me. Sometimes I forget this and it takes someone or an event to remind me. However, this year as we all seek to find balance in our life (what my family is focusing on this year), I have to constantly remember it's ok to take some time for me.
Now, a little update on Allen.......we saw his psychiatrist last week and we made a medication change and will see him again in a couple of months to see how things are going. I still see him struggling, but I have to say that he is so much better, even on his bad days, than he was a year ago and we are so thankful. I'm going to close this with a picture of Allen and I from an event with our partner organization, Karla Smith Foundation last November. I LOVE this picture of the two of us.