I have received numerous emails from people asking us how I dealt with certain issues. Questions have spanned the spectrum from how did I cope with sadness to how I was able to maintain a social life?
I always say that I wish I had had ‘us’ to talk to, and hope to offer support and guidance to those who need it.
Recently, I spoke to a few individuals whose loved ones had just experienced significant medical events, and are just beginning the recovery process.
For them and others like them, I wanted to share the following concepts that helped us to stay in a positive frame of mind, and make the transition easier:
1) Remember that you are only human, and can do only so much.
When you start feeling overwhelmed, stop and remind yourself that you are only human. You have just been through a lot and feeling overwhelmed, or having a wide range of emotions, is completely normal.
2) Think of the transition you’re making as a marathon, not a sprint.
After experiencing a catastrophic event, you might be frustrated, angry or impatient with yours or your spouse’s progress. Remind yourself that this is not a race and that change will not happen overnight. Instead, acknowledge and celebrate every small victory along the way.
3) Start letting yourself and your loved ones off the hook on a regular basis.
Though it is not right, it is common to take out our anger, fear, frustrations, etc. on those closest to us. When you find yourself becoming frustrated about something, try letting it go for the day. We are all just doing the best we can and no one is perfect. By letting your spouse off the hook you are also giving yourself a break.