Our Vlog series on the wall of FUDWACA is coming to an end. One thing that we learned is that it’s hard to know when exactly you have hit this Wall. It’s quite different from realizing you have crashed your car, for instance, into a barrier. There is this moment of confusion about what just happened. You notice steam rising out from under the crushed hood. The released seatbelt snaps back as you force open the door, dazed. There is debris all over the road. You can hear the tires squeal and the boom of the impact. Solid skid marks are visible leading up to the car. Yup, you hit the wall, hard. Now what?
It's much harder for a caregiver to realize that they have hit the wall of FUDWACA. The task of caregiving often starts off benignly enough. You love your spouse and will do anything to help them. It is just part of life. Then time goes by and at some point, you realize that you rarely have time to yourself and that you’re cumulatively tired. You begin to live in your head as you try to hold onto patience and muster strength, wisdom, and courage.
Then you realize that the finish line keeps moving. Your loved one is not getting better. Their need for support is permanent and growing. Then the wall of FUDWACA begins to take shape: Frustration, Uncertainty, Doubt, Worry, Anger, Concern, and Anxiety. You have hit the wall when your health begins to decline, the voice in your head repeatedly tells you that you can’t do this anymore, and your gut feeling is that something has to change. All of your senses are not on emergency overload like when you crash your car. It’s way more subtle. It’s an emotional conclusion that there is a barrier, and you must find a way over it, or bad things are going to happen.
It's lonely behind the wall of FUDWACA. But you are not alone. The passage through begins to open when you reach out for help. In our upcoming series, “You Are Not Alone,” we will explore the journey through the wall and what lies beyond.