Monday, March 11, 2013

Social Isolation

One of the things I hear a lot about is social isolation. Most caregivers become such under varying circumstances for me it started with an automobile accident followed by a hospital stay. At first the SICU waiting room was filled with concerned people. As the usual "custom" visitors began to dwindle when it turned into a 4 month hospital stay; and dwindled even more as we moved to the first nursing home. By the time we moved to our first apartment visitors were pretty much nonexistent. This is typically how it goes and it's not that people do not care, it's just that they went on with their lives and somehow had the illusion that since you are "home" yours sort of went on too. That's just the way it is.. no blame.

 Caregiving can end up being a lonely place - but you eventually adjust to this social isolation and it finally becomes the norm.  As a general rule, caregivers do not have the freedom that many others have. They cannot decide on the spur of the moment to go see a movie, go to lunch with friends or grab a cup of coffee with someone. Many cannot even take care of personal errands except when an aide is present. Even if our loved one is mobile it is not so easy to just jump and run to buy necessities. It all has to be carefully planned out and it greatly involved depending on the mobility level of our loved one. All of this can lead to a feeling of abandonment. 

When we feel like the world has kept turning and left us sitting still we can consider this scripture in Psalm 27:9-10. The psalmist prays: Do not hide yourself from me. Do not reject your servant in anger. You have always been my helper. Don't leave me now; don't abandon me, the Lord will hold me close. Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.

I am guessing that David had moments he felt isolated from the rest of the world. He was basically running and hiding from Saul who wanted to kill him. I'm sure there were some lonely moments in some dark caves while he was hidden away that he felt abandoned. But he encouraged himself in the Lord more than once! In this psalm he goes on to talk about seeing the Lord's goodness in the land of the living. And then he makes this statement seemingly to himself in verse 14: wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. (NLT)

Today I will turn my focus to the Lord who will never abandon - never leave me alone. I will meditate on these two phrases from this psalm: you have always been my helper and  the Lord will hold me close. This will by my meditation for the day - will you join me?

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