At first, her mother's memory was deteriorating slowly, but as time went on it became clear to her that a possible Alzheimer's disease diagnosis was eminent with each passing day. As the only child and daughter, she one day reached the dreaded place of being forced to sit down with her mother to discuss giving up driving a vehicle.
It was at this moment the realization set in that she was probably going to have to move her mother into an Assisted Living facility in the near future. When it finally reached this point, her mother knew it was time for her to move too, but the emotional pain was excruciating for both during this transitional period.
As the daughter she had always been, she handled her mother's care-taking with love and understanding, but inside, she ached and grieved deeply. She cried a lot when she was alone. In fact, she cried when a grocery store clerk simply asked, "How are you today?" She'd even cried while waiting in lines at banks and restaurants.
In her professional life, she had always been a caretaker, too. As an energy therapist, she'd helped many clients get over their troubling issues and used EFT to help hundreds of people, both by phone and in person.
But in this experience with her mother, she'd become too busy to see her regular clients. She was too emotionally distraught to work.
She cried while driving. She cried when she was cleaning out her mother's old apartment. She cried when she had to make the calls officially change her mother's address for the phone company, the credit card companies, health insurance providers, doctors, and all the other places that needed to be notified of her mother's address change. She cried with all of them.
During these times of anticipatory grief, a type of mourning that occurs when someone sees that a death is impending and behaviors mimic the stages of grief that follow death, our minds are often overloaded with such thoughts of despair that we forget about our own self-care.
Here, she'd been a great caretaker for others in her life, especially her mother, but during this anticipatory grief experience she "forgot" that she had a wonderful skill with which to care for herself too. She'd "forgot" about EFT tapping.
She "forgot" about tapping for herself.
Instead, all she did was cry whenever a situation moved her back into the place of feeling anticipatory grief and it seemed, at times, like almost every situation was triggering overwhelming grief.
Then one day she remembered how often she advised her clients to use EFT. It was in this moment where she recognized she was not using EFT for her own self-care to help manage this difficult emotional experience.
She began to tap:
Even though I am experiencing [all of these Mother emotions], I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I am [feeling all alone with these problem emotions], I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I am [watching Mom change so rapidly], I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I am [having to take on a difficult role all by myself], I deeply and completely accept myself.
The more she tapped, the more the chronic-crying began to fade away. Peace settled into her aching spirit. She began to handle her tasks with her mother with less emotional pain and remembered to be fully present in each moment. She felt better about herself and her mother's situation and saw that it was time to begin working with clients again.
Have you guessed yet?
I'm writing about myself. Here I am, the one who always helps others through EFT and it didn't even occur to me to help myself while going through such a difficult life event.
Tapping is great for bringing us back into the present moment and for acknowledging our emotions. The tapping statements let our unconscious selves understand that we can be loved and supported by our own inner guide. Tapping reminds us that self-care is essential for our well-being. Thanks to using EFT through this challenging period of my life I was able to achieve a balance between my mother's needs and health situation with the needs of the other people I support and work with both in and out of my practice--including myself!
Once I took the time to tap for myself, my phone started to ring again, with new and old clients alike, seeking appointments. I started meeting with clients. The wonderful feeling of being able to help others helped lesson my anticipatory grief and gave me something else for my mind to focus on rather than my mother's declining memory.
I was reminded how important it is to help oneself when experiencing traumatic events--and to remind you do do the same. Remember to tap for your self-care today and if you are dealing with a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, may you find peace and support in your journey. Know that you are not alone.