I recently had a meeting with my spiritual advisor to talk about how I am doing in general and how I am doing in my relationship with God. I was quite frank with her and responded “to be honest, I am angry at God”. As I am writing this I am a bit ashamed of myself for saying this. It seems brash, selfish and self-centered. But it’s how I have been feeling for the last few months, so I might as well fess up.
Why I am I angry at God? I don’t have a right to be angry at God, I know that. I have a great life and so many things to be grateful for. I wake up everyday grateful beyond measure for what I have. So why am I angry? I am not sure I am angry or am I just incredibly frustrated. Like all of you, I had many plans for my life in 2020 and was trying to work my way through my bucket list. Having Early Onset Alzheimers, I feel like I am in a race to get in as many memorable activities I can in the short time I have left. Up until 2020, I was living like I was dying.
Fortunately, I was able to go on a trip of a lifetime to Australia, New Zealand, and Bora Bora in early 2020 before COVID reared its ugly head. Then my life, and everyone else’s came to a halt. Everyone’s plans and dreams were put on hold. I know I am far luckier than many people. I am retired, am financially secure, have a roof over my head, food on the table, and loving family and friends and live in a warm climate where I can get outside and exercise. I am truly blessed. But I also feel like with my Alzheimer’s diagnosis, I am on borrowed time. I may only have 3-5 years of good cognitive health yet, and I was hoping and praying I could spend it traveling, visiting loved ones and enjoying life. I have not seen my children or extended family members and most friends for over 18 months now. How much longer will this COVID go on? Will I even know them when I can see them? Now like everyone else, my life is on hold, and I am spending most of my time social distancing and in quarantine and feel like I have lost a year of precious time. I know my problems aren’t anywhere as significant as some people right now who are unemployed and don’t know where their next meal or paycheck is coming from.
I was discussing my frustrations with my spiritual advisor, and she said “You know Kelly, its ok to be angry at God. God will understand and never be angry at you”. She suggested I go have a good cry and even maybe scream at God. Let my frustrations out (I have yet to do that yet….quite frankly I am hanging on by a thread, but I need to do this). She also said “have you ever thought that maybe God has brought COVID into our lives to kind of reset the Earth and give us warning that the Earth and all of us need to reset, to slow down, etc”? Wow, is she wise. That was so profound to me. So I thought I would share with you how I am feeling, and my frustrations. I know many of you are feeling the same way. Depressed, hopeless, restless, and anxious. Those are completely normal feelings in tumultuous times. Lord knows 2020 has been very tumultuous with COVID and the political unrest in the United States.
It is just a few days before Christmas, the Day Jesus was born. It is a day to rejoice. It is time for me to get my head back in the game, and pull myself out of my slump. Holidays are always difficult for me since I lost my Mom to Alzheimer’s. I grin and bear it and can’t wait for the holidays to be over. This year will be no exception. But I also realize I can’t fight this disease if I allow depression to take hold, and don’t stay active and engaged. I need to go have that good cry, and get this out of my system. I’ll do that right after Christmas.
Not Today, Alzheimer’s not today. You’ve got me down, but I have a plan to get back up!