I Never Knew

my-soul-brigde-i-never-knewHow time does fly. A little over two years ago, I had a brand new life up and running.

New because I’d spent a couple of long years prior on duty as the primary care provider for an aging loved one (my Mom).

Can you relate?

So many of you can relate through personal experience. I know. I’ve talked with you.

Some of you know by the experience of other people and some of you will have the care giver experience and don’t know it is coming.

I remember an early fall evening in the new life when what showed up for me appeared to all wash downstream.

Like some river bank home crumbled to toothpicks by flood waters, everything I had working as a business project vanished in moments.

At least that is what I thought.

Only a business project to be re-thought and built again.

What I did not know at the time was that the metaphorical washing down the river was in fact a much bigger picture of me being emptied out completely.

Back then there appeared to be nothing I could do to end the never ending process of being stripped of my spirit, relationships and resources.

Toward the end of the emptying out, it felt like the next home I’d get to enjoy was among the homeless souls of the city where I lived at the time.

Something else I didn’t know was that my sinking life hopes and dreams was the result of not knowing how to ask for help to recover from being a care provider a few years ago.

You see after my Mom died, my caregiver status stopped. Done. Over.

All I wanted then was to go some place and take a shot at building a “normal” life. Some where far away.

And it worked. For a while.

That change of scenery, meeting new people and working on what I loved to work on went on until that fall day on the imaginary river bank.

Life worked until something I thought was history let me know that it was still alive and well. Something I recently learned wears the label “Caregiver Syndrome”.

I never knew it had a name.

The purpose of my Soul Bridge is to serve anyone who finds themselves feeling trapped, feeling alone or in limbo as a current or past primary care provider for an aging loved one.

Looking back I see exactly how “Caregiver Syndrome” brought me to do what I can so someone else can recover as a care provider or better recover after the experience.

This syndrome is insidious and unfortunately always happens at some level for those who give care.

I feel moved to do this work from a place greater than thoughts. I know this because this human I think of as me is afraid of where this project may go.

But another part of me feels like it is next in line to ride the grandest roller coaster ever created (and I love roller coasters).

First car, front seat please. Thank you.

I am saying yes because:

I want a past or current care provider to feel that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I want them to feel hopeful and capable of asking for the help they need.

I want those who still can to feel compelled to help someone else who is in a tough situation as a caregiver.

I want care providers to know they’re not alone.

Someone listens who knows through their own experience what a care provider deals with.

I want you to know Soul Bridges do exist. Not just mine. Everyone has them.

I want you to know that these bridges show up simply by looking for them.

I want people to be involved at any level they can.

I want them to be deeply moved so they reach out and help change a single aspect in the life of a caregiver.

I want this work to mean something and last long after I’ve exited the planet.

Okay. That’s what I want.

But this work isn’t about me. I’m one guy with one experience. I am not you or any other person who is, or ever has been, a care provider.

You have your Soul Bridges too.

And I want you to say; “Hey Mark, my Soul Bridge is…” and then tell me your story.

Someone is here. Someone listens. Someone helps.

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