Thursday, November 29, 2012
The "WHY" Behind the Caregiver Mental Health Summit
Over the last 8 weeks, my mom has been in the hospital three times, my husband is in "that" time of year where everything in our household goes south (oh... and it's also "that" time of year for a lot of the Family Of a Vet staff households), my aunt died, I've had bronchitis and pneumonia, a gigantic tree limb fell on part of our fence, and.......
Literally that list could go on for several more paragraphs.
I am a caregiver. And honestly, my life often comes in endless, neverending waves of "HOLY CRAP" that I have to manage, juggle, fix, deal with, cope with, and try my best not to be completely overwhelmed by.
And, all of this swirls around me while I deal (or try to) with my own "mental health issues"... Secondary PTSD, Caregiver "Fatigue", depression, anxiety, insomnia, anger, sadness, blah, blah, blah.
I can't honestly name a caregiver (I know A LOT of them at this point) who lives here in PTSD/TBI/Life After Combat world with me who doesn't face a similar issue.
HOW DO WE STAY SANE (or at least as sane as possible) WHILE WE TAKE CARE OF OUR HERO, OUR FAMILY, AND ALLLLLLLL OF THE OTHER "STUFF"?
That's "why" we're having this Summit (which starts today!). To talk. To talk about what's working. To talk about what isn't. To get ideas, feedback, and new things to try.
We are a strong community. I see proof of that every single day (and most days I see examples dozens of times). But strong does not equal unbreakable. And, we have to make sure that we don't break (or at least break as little as possible :) ) so that we're HERE and ABLE to keep marching forward.
So, please register. You can attend for free, online, from anywhere. If you can't attend the "live" Summit, register anyway so that you can be notified as soon as the free, recorded version is available.
This is a really BIG DEAL... the first of its kind... and hundreds of hours of work by dedicated volunteers and caregivers (and professionals who are donating their time!) to spend two days talking about the Mental Health Issues sometimes faced by military/veteran caregivers and to provide *ACTIONABLE* ways to cope and feel better.
Today (November 29th) is a day specifically for professionals or volunteers who work with Military/Veteran Caregivers and want to know how to better serve them.
Friday (November 30th) is a day devoted to Caregivers and information, ideas, and real-world talk about the Mental Health Issues we sometimes face when caring for and loving our heroes and *HOW* to cope.
You can attend in your PJ's... promise we'll never tell! But whatever you do (and however you dress ;) ) come take advantage of the the handiwork (and heart work!) of military/veteran caregivers (who are wonderful Family Of a Vet volunteers!) who have designed, coordinated, and worked their "sixes" off to make the Summit such an incredible event!
To sign up, or for more information, visit the official Summit site: http://fovsummits.com/
AND... if you have QUESTIONS:
Sharlene Prinsen has been kind enough to donate 10 copies of her book, "Blind Devotion: Survival On the Frontlines of PTSD & Addiction," (and cover postage!) in support of the Summit. 5 Caregivers and 5 Professionals that submit questions for the Summit will be selected at random to receive a free copy!
MILITARY / VETERAN CAREGIVERS, submit questions here: http://tinyurl.com/ctpt9yk
PROFESSIONALS / VOLUNTEERS WHO SERVE CAREGIVERS, submit questions here: http://tinyurl.com/c8vp656
For more information about Sharlene's book, visit this link: http://blinddevotionblog.com/book-information/
Come on! Let's DO THIS!,
Proud wife of an OIF Veteran
Founder of FamilyOfaVet.com - an organization dedicated to helping heroes and their loved ones survive and thrive after combat with real world info about PTSD, TBI, and Life After Combat!