You Are Not Alone
“I no longer see friends. Just therapists and doctors.”
“I want to talk to someone but don’t even see family much now.”
“I feel totally overwhelmed, but I don’t want to bother anyone.”
I hear these thoughts more often recently.
From families like ours dealing with a developmental disability.
From friends dealing with a tough diagnosis—cancer, multiple sclerosis, heart disease.
From relatives helping an aging parent with dementia.
From his diagnosis at age three, I spent every spare breath finding ways to help our autistic son. I was exhausted, doing nothing to reenergize myself. Irrepressibly optimistic, I also danced between patches of PTSD and depression.
Years into our struggle, I realized that isolation is a stairway to despair.
Isolation for the person who is ill. Isolation for the person with a physical or mental challenge that makes the world hard to navigate.
Isolation for caregivers—devoted to loved ones who need them, sometimes at the expense of their own physical and mental health.
There is no handy “Instruction Manual” for dealing with life’s challenges. Most of us end up reinventing the wheel as we go along.
I don’t have easy answers for anyone. I do know that it helps to reach out to others.
If you need help, ask. If you can offer help, offer it. Don’t stop trying.
Different things work for different people. For me, finding support that allowed me to get my son, myself and the rest of the family out on a hiking trail was a huge turning point.
This week’s Hike Notes lead to a family favorite, San Bruno Mountain – Saddle Trail, a not-overly challenging hiking area with great cityscape and bay views.
Please feel free to share. If you’re not able to take one of these Northern California hikes, hopefully you can enjoy the photos!
The list of hikes is getting long! Please check the Quick View Hike List or scroll down the main Hikes page to see the current list of hike notes.
New this week:
Hike Notes 20: San Bruno Mountain – Saddle Trail
Sharing insights and hiking highlights (Hikes) from the special needs caregiver front in San Francisco.