Into the Valley of Alzheimers: Stress and Control

Nancy is the family matriarch:   The Boss Lady, Queen Bee, Grand Ma.    For a long time, Nancy reigned with great skill and dignity.  But a few years ago she began showing her age. Her memory became erratic.  She had strange mood swings.  She had difficulty organizing her thoughts.  Now, she can no longer live on her own … is clearly on the long march down into the valley of Alzheimers.  At times she is lucid.  At times she makes no sense.  Often she misses her children and wants them to stay with her constantly.  Sometimes she doesn’t trust them and wants them to leave –  NOW.

And while it’s difficult for 80 year old Nancy, it’s much more so for her children.  It hurts them to watch her flounder between clarity and confusion.  They remember her as she was, her sharpness and drive.  They wish that she could stay that way.  They see her in pain and want to make it go away.  They stress over the possibility of walking into her room one morning, only to find that she doesn’t know who they are.

But before we go further into their situation,  let’s leave off for a moment and talk about the underlying issue here.

The Sedona Method talks about wanting control.  Whenever one is fighting the flow of the universe, one is stuck in control mode.  Not necessarily in the sense of trying to manipulate another for personal gain.  Nor in the sense of trying to bully someone as a means of feeding one’s own ego.  Rather, we are stuck in control mode whenever we are fighting with what IS.  Whenever we are rejecting how we feel in this moment or how the other person feels.  We are either wanting to be in control or we are resisting feelings of not having control or of being controlled by someone or something else.

And let’s be clear.  It’s not that one should be a doormat for any negative situation that rears its head.  If someone is hurting, by all means comfort her.  If a child is about to run into a busy street, grab him.  Obviously one can and should take control in such situations.  The problem is not one of being in control,  it is that we get stuck in control mode.

Being stuck there means that you continually  feel a lack of control.  And so you are always reaching for it or clinging to it.  You habitually feel as though you don’t have enough and that you need more.  Life becomes a series of struggles for more control and against being controlled by others.  And usually this pattern is driven by fear.  We are afraid of what might happen.  We are afraid that we will lose control over our lives.

We feel that the universe will go out of control unless we’re personally managing it.  (Good luck with that, by the way.)

So we sweat and we stress and we manipulate our way into positions of greater control.  But even when we get there, the relief is only temporary.  The universe always brings new situations and people.  And that means uncertainty.  And uncertainty becomes anxiety because, after all, that means a lack of control.  So after a brief respite, we find ourselves back in the perpetual cycle of anxiety, stress and wanting or resisting control.  Stuck in control mode again.

And it never occurs to us that the solution, the way out of the never ending circle is actually quite simple.  We could choose to let go of the grasping for control.  We could let go of our defensive resistance to being controlled.  We could simply ‘unstick’ ourselves from control mode. (The audio link below will bring up a process that helps you tune into and step out of control mode.)

Having let go of the clutching and pressure, we find a sense of clarity and relief.  Our minds are clearer and we can see the present moment much more accurately.  We are more open to our intuition.  We directly see whether or not we actually need to take control and do something now . Or whether the universe is actually taking care of the situation so that we could relax and go with the flow.

So what does this have to do with Nancy’s slow march into the Valley of Alzheimers?

Understandably, Nancy’s children are stressed and distressed over her loss of her faculties.  And although they recognize it as inevitable, they still resist it happening. They want to do something.  They want to change her experience of life.  They want to fix her.  But isn’t that getting stuck in control mode?   Isn’t that wanting to control her experience of life?  Wanting to control her situation?  And doesn’t that come to controlling the universe so that it bends to their desires?

Of course, they have the best intentions.   Of course they would say that they feel bad for her.  But I would ask them to notice … how much of this pressure to change (control) her life situation is motivated by their own discomfort?  From their own pain over what IS?   How much of it comes from wanting to get relief from their own feelings?

So it seems to me that her childrens’ wanting to control Nancy’s experience of life, in large part, comes down to resisting (and wanting to control) their own pain.  They are stuck in control mode and because they can’t fight the Alzheimer’s they create lots of stress and grief for themselves.

The solution, as we discussed earlier, is to step out of control mode.  To get unstuck from the wanting control and resisting what IS.   If you are in a situation like that of Nancy’s children or in any comparable situation of wanting to control another person’s experience of life, click the ‘Part 1’ audio link below.  It will help you to step out of control mode, to move into clarity and relief … and to flow with the Universe.


Alzheimers, Stress & Control – Part 1

Alzheimers, Stress & Control – Part 2


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5 other followers

%d bloggers like this: