Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Applying Al-Anon

Though I had been awake since 5:30 am, I lay awake after 1 am trying to figure out what to do.
Having just been to an Al-Anon meeting, I asked myself, "What would Al-Anon say to do?" and made a list.
1) Take care of yourself. (Well, I blew that one. Not able to relax and go to sleep.)
2) Turn the situation over to God. (Exactly how do I do this? Mom is not a teenager on drugs who has to learn to make her own decisions. I am responsible to make decisions about her care, with input from my siblings.)
3) Set a boundary. (Okay, I will tell Country Villa that I will move her to some other location, maybe Berkeley East, if these problems can't be solved.)
4) Let go. (Let her suffer and accept the reality of living in a nursing home? Don't try to take away her pain or solve her problem? Wrong! Forget that. But what if I cannot make her happy? Should I take her into my home? Should I hire private caregivers for her in skilled nursing?)
5) Feel your feelings. Sit with the pain. (This one I can do. It is so painful for me when she pours a cup of water on the table because it is not juice. When she is in pain and threatens her caregiver. When she reaches toward the medicine giver's face threateningly.)
At 2:10 am the half moon shines in my bedroom window, not far from Jupiter. If I just focus on the moon, the stars, and the rolling hills along the San Andreas Fault, I'll be fine.
Eventually Mom will die. Then I will be free of this worry for ten or twenty years until my own decline toward death.
With any luck, those will be happy and productive years.

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