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  • ellenwohl712

SNAP! You Have the Power

Twenty-seven years ago this week, my dad died. When Dad was battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Mom took care of him, doing things I never imagined I could or would do. Her strength in the face of his weakness surprised and amazed me. As I faced constant challenges while caring for my husband, Jack, I confided to her that I never thought I could manage it the way she did. Dad’s fight lasted less than a year. Jack’s cornucopia of illnesses are a constant ebb and flow, year after year after year.

I was never trained to be a caregiver. It was completely unexpected. Yet, I was compelled to step into the role because I love my husband, and frankly, I thought no one else understood him the way I do. I’ve met many women and men in the same position, dealing with sacrifice, frustration, and disappointment. We all wear the same weary look. This isn’t how it was supposed to be.

I don’t have a degree in nursing, social work, or psychology. I have real-world experience. My story and social media posts answer the proverbial question, “How do you do it?”

Snap out of it” was Mom’s go-to expression when my sisters and I were stuck in a frame of mind we couldn’t escape. She taught us that negative feelings and situations don’t have to rule our lives.

Of course, there’s no way to simply snap out of it. In my case, “snap out of it” became the mantra I used to alter my emotions and train of thought when I was stretched to my limit. I had to snap the defeatist self-talk, snap the attitude, and snap the anxiety. But how?

Victor Frankl, Austrian neurologist, and author of Man's Search for Meaning wrote, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

There are no magic words or wands to wave. As Glinda the Good Witch told Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, “You’ve always had the power, my dear. You just had to learn it for yourself.”

The power is in us. We can find it and use it to make our way back. We can exit the wild ride and enjoy the calm, any time we want.

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