Adam Dzialo

Adam Dzialo
Our son, Adam Dzialo, age 30

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Vacation...Getting Away From Life (A Sharon Dzialo Post)

Phil's Vacation Resort
 I needed a  retreat – also, knew that it would look very different from Phil’s recent get-away.  He checked into a hotel for three days, slept blissfully, wrote a blog, read a book, walked by the ocean, ate “sinfully” delicious food and had NO RESPONSIBILITY.  I want to mention here that Phil has NEVER done this before and I prodded, pleaded and eventually forced him to go.  I have, in the past, when Adam was in stable shape, taken days away, even a 12 day trip once to Hawaii to visit friends.  Adam was in school then and we had several  good people to help with his care.  This, unfortunately, is no longer our reality.   Phil, however,  could not leave his home, his son, his safety (the old PTSD STUFF. . . ) Until recently -  If you follow our story you will know that the last year has been very difficult – many, many challenges with Adam, ones that left us with that “special fatigue” only experienced by the extreme caretakers of the world.  We were both desperate for a break and, given that we have a gravely diminished support system in place, we needed to take our retreats separately.

Kripalu Retreat Center

I traveled to a yoga center in Western Ma., intending to sleep, walk, participate in some gentle yoga classes, eat healthy food, read, and “if the spirit moved me” connect with some other folks.  RUDE AWAKENING – I signed up for a dorm room with five roommates, all of whom had arrived and settled in before me.  Only a top bunk bed was left, with other people’s clothes scattered about – so welcoming (NOT).  I grabbed my book and tried to find a comfortable chair in one of the many sitting areas.  The Center was packed, people coming and going, chatting, chatting and more chatting.  I couldn’t read so I eventually found my way to a yoga class.  Relaxing? Peaceful? Comforting?  No, no and no.  My body was screaming – couldn’t turn my head to the left, had pain running down the middle of my back and this happened just because I was laying flat on the floor.  Wake-up Call!!!!  Hate it when that happens.  My body was talking to me – too much stress all bottled up.  I hobbled back to my room, met one roommate (nice enough) and then settled onto the top bunk worried about the night ahead because I ALWAYS have to get up in the night to use the bathroom. I was envisioning myself slipping down the ladder, crashing on the floor and further harming my fragile body.   As I was trying to drift off another woman entered the room, loudly announcing her presence, flossing her teeth with great drama, brushing her teeth in the sink while loudly spitting and then setting up a laptop on her bed with the lights on.  I could hear her typing.  Tossed and turned all night and, finally, in the wee hours fled the room, took a shower and made a plan.

Kripalu Center

I requested a private room – YES! And, was settled in within an hour.  I scheduled a therapeutic massage and it was perfect.  A tall, gentle man sat me down, listened to my story (which I told in two sentences) and kindly and compassionately talked with me about honoring mothers and, especially mothers in extreme circumstances.  I cried and he then proceeded to massage the stress from my body.  I must admit that I fantasized about taking him home with me – Phil and Adam would have loved him too.  And, my daughter – well, she loves massages. . .
So, I learned that I needed and wanted to be alone.  This seems like a contradiction when you know the circumstances of our life.  With the exception of one committed and loyal therapist who appears at our door every ten days for a four day stay AND visits from our daughter, her boyfriend and Tiki (the grandpuppy) we lead a very solitary life.  A few family visits each year, phone calls, casual conversations with the neighbors and one or two new friends – that’s it.  Being alone afforded me the luxury of NO CARETAKING, unless it was moving in my own direction.  I went to bed when I wanted, walked, read, took a nap.  I didn’t need much – the simple bliss of no responsibility for even a few days. . .  
Sounds like a new plan – every few months?   

Alone is OK!!!


  1. Oh, to be alone.

    I am glad that you got this time and inspired by your doing so.

  2. I am so glad you had the chance to do this and that Phil took a mini vacation too. God knows the two of you deserve this and so much more.

  3. Bizarre thing is that even with a "vacation" you feel anxious to get make sure that everything is ok.

  4. Hi Sharon, so refreshing to read your post. I could so relate to what you were talking about. I'm not the most social person at the best of times - so the thought of sharing precious 'time-out' time with strangers (especially annoying ones ) would definately tip me over the edge. It's interesting how we have to adjust our 'away' time to separate occasions - but if we can make that work for us it's a good thing. It's just a pity that it can't be a bit easier. I agree with Phil that it can manifest anxiety. Little snippets of freedom are invigorating. I'm content with that. I sometimes dream of an exciting overseas holiday (especially when everyone else seems to be indulging in them). Then I weigh up - would I like that exciting lifestyle or would I like to be with Royce. The answer is always the same ... never a doubt

  5. Hey Sharon,
    I adored your sojourn...finding bliss in 3 days
    musing on ALONENESS
    you are right...
    the mask is off for those of us able to bear the truth
    this is a time of being
    with our high self
    and when other humans are not connected
    it is unnecessary charade...painful but unnecessary
    Adam and Phil and yourself have struggled to reconnect with the sanity of being human
    and a true or real human is in concert with their high self....and your high self is now being heard as it ushers you to retreat safely every few months!

  6. Alone is SO GOOD! I'm glad you spoke up and found a private room so that you could decompress, Sharon. I started taking an occasional weekend away last November (wow, a year already!) when we were finally given some respite help.

    I always spend it quietly, with a book the ocean nearby. Since I'm still essentially a newlywed, my husband is by my side for these semi-solitary soirees. We're leaving Friday for a trip up to St. Simon's Island, the first since Memorial Day weekend. I can't wait!

    I hope you make this a regular thing!!

  7. Carolyn...I hope you have a great and restful time at St. Simon's...take in the warmth of the sun, it does wonders for the soul!

    Marcelle: Like yourself, our answer is also always the same....

  8. Dear My gorgeous friends,

    Sharon, I'm so proud of you to speak up and ask for a private room.

    I'm so glad and happy that you got a retreat in the end and Phil got one too.

    My dear friends, if your retreat ever takes you to our neck of woods, I would love to pamper you :)




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