This isn’t the sandwich I ordered

#stress, #relationship issues #family issues

Ever anticipate eating a decadent sandwich and when you bite into it you realize either it doesn’t taste the way your expected, or there is an ingredient on it unappealing to your taste buds.  In this situation you have options, you can inform the sandwich maker of your displeasure.  Possibly the person will remake the sandwich to your liking.  You can decide to eat it and scrape off what you do not like.  You may even receive your money back for being dissatisfied.  

As we walk through life we are not able to order the type of life we want, we can work hard at aiming for it, building it, preparing for it; but this does not ensure life will unfold in how we imagine.  In life we enter and exit various phases. 

When a person is in the parenting phase and simultaneously caring for aging parents we call this the sandwich generation.  The name extends from the person experiencing this phase being responsible for two other generations; being sandwiched between a younger and older generation.  If illness, disability, or financial hardships, work there way onto the sandwich, returning it is not an option.

When circumstances increase, pressure, stress, fatigue, and/or anxiety can emerge.  This can occur whether there is increased positive responsibility or hardships, or a combination of these occurring at the same time among the generations.  A person can find themselves experiencing a hard time mustering the energy to take care of everyone. 

Patience that once flowed with ease may now run short. Navigating a new relationship with your parent can be difficult, foreign, combative, strained, disastrous, and even frightening.  

There are professionals who can listen to your experience without judgement and assist you in designing a new normal with reduced stress and manageable emotions.  Professionals can suggest additional resources and supports to increase the tastiness of the sandwich.  Jane and Peter had Mary Poppins to “help the medicine go down, in the most delightful way.” The spoonful of sugar was not the solution, the caring, empathy, and guidance Mary Poppins offered reduced stress, promoted healing, led to forgiveness, established new habits, and  provided healthier behaviors for the whole family to improve the functioning of the family.  

Professional counselors and therapist are equipped to “help the medicine go down” to enjoy the sandwich in your life. 

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