6/18/11 – Who’s Story Is This?


When I started blogging years ago, I wasn’t sure where my story was heading.  I was clear, though, that it was a story about my dad living with Alzheimer’s.  I gave some backstory and then used the blog to report on my dad’s health status.  It was only over time that I truly realized what I was really up to – I was spilling the truth about what was happening to me and around me during the great Alzheimer’s slide.  Somewhere along the way, the story of my dad having Alzheimer’s morphed into how I was reacting to my dad having Alzheimer’s.  It became the story of Alzheimer’s through my eyes, the eyes of a caregiver.

Blogging in the middle of the night, I’d think, If I can help just ONE person, it will be worth the effort.  If just ONE person visits this site and gets some relief by reading this, the project will be a success.

And then an amazing thing started happening – I started getting comments from people I didn’t know who were actually connecting with me.  I was making a difference!

So I continued blogging and telling the story, digging deeper into my emotions and psyche so that I could truly understand what I was going through so that I could accurately report back.  It became my self-proclaimed duty.  And so I wrote, I cried, I celebrated small victories, and then my dad died.

There was a natural tapering off of my blog entries as I took much-needed time to grieve my loss.  I would check back in by posting a new entry on milestone events like holidays or anniversaries.  But after 6 months I started thinking to myself, Well, now I’m just talking to talk.  No one cares what I’m up to – this story was always about Dad.  Now that he’s gone, there’s no more story.

I felt compelled to post an entry on the 1-year anniversary of my dad’s death.  It seemed full-circle and important to the overall story.  It was comments to this entry that really got my attention: Seeing you training for a triathlon made me realize that I AM going to get through this!…  Knowing that you survived the horrible psych ward experience made me realize that I can survive it too if my worst nightmare happens…”  This was a big acknowledgement and a huge realization for me – this story IS about ME!  🙂

3 Responses to “6/18/11 – Who’s Story Is This?”

  1. Mike Stern said

    Joleen I hope you continue bloggng. You have a great many lessons and ideas to share with a community that needs as many strong, poignant voices as possible.

  2. Hi Joleen,

    Well, as you know from some of my past comments, you have my total support as well, and I hope you continue, and of course wish you and your family the best moving forward.

    It was(still is) always nice to see your smiling face in your videos, doing the best you could to fight back the tears and put your best foot forward. I commend you for that and it took guts. This IS your story, and I for one do care!

    There are literally thousands like us living in the shadows of this evil disease, doing the best we can for our parent (Mom in my case as you know), slowly being eaten away inside both mentally and physically. And many well meaning caregivers will never get the chance to see the light of day again as the physical tolls of depression will kill them before their parent dies.

    I’ll wrap this up, but will be back in touch with you soon. While I’m not sure where your project is headed, I do wordpress development as well as Facebook marketing, and would be honored to help you get your story out in the public eye as far as you’re willing to take it, at 0 cost should you ever need the help.

    Best Wishes,


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