Brenda: One Day at a Time

Don continues to complain about memory problems and anxiety. He told Brenda, “This is as good as it’s going to get” so he does not want to make any more medication changes. She worries about the effects of past head injuries. In addition to the accident with the four-wheeler, he had an accident with farm equipment that resulted in a concussion and a fall on ice, also resulting in a slight concussion.

Brenda is saving money for retirement in eight years, but she realizes their situation could change.

I also have the thought in the back of my mind if something changed with his behavior, I may have to leave [work] earlier. But I just deal with it a day at a time. That’s all you can do to make the best of each day. Because I learned too well how things can change in an instant.

Although her journey with Don has been tumultuous, Brenda acknowledges there are positive times. She has met many good people in the NAMI family support group and is rewarded through supporting others. She sees relationships and families as most important and has learned to let go of “stuff” and simplify life.

It’s so overwhelming looking at the future. I always say you got to stay in today. Count your blessings. Get a gratitude notebook and write down every day three things you’re grateful for. You can’t focus on how overwhelming and how horrible life is right now. You’ve got to find something to hang on to. Find joy in something you do and learn to take care of yourself. That’s why I do my exercises. That’s why I do my gardening. Whatever you can do to take care of yourself. Because if you let yourself get run down, you can’t take care of anybody else. You can’t love anybody else if you don’t love yourself. If they won’t get help, at least get help for yourself. That’s huge. Reach out to others and call if you have questions, contact NAMI. There’s people out there that can help. But you have to ask for it.


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