Seems like just yesterday you were on your honeymoon and now you find yourself shopping for mattress protection covers for your wife. Her illness came unexpectedly and you never thought it would turn in to this. Of course you love her, but how in the world did you get here and how will you ever survive?
Regardless of who you are caring for, the everyday events in your own life are now sparkled with caring for your loved one. You have good days and ones that you just can’t seem to shake. You’re up through the night replaying the day and the years before this all happened. Why, how, what if…they nag at you like nightmares.
Each family caregiving situation is different, but there is a common thread. Feelings. Did I do it right? Did I say the wrong thing? Anger, resentment, and regret are all woven in like a blanket of feelings that you’ve never experienced before.
It doesn’t matter who you are caring for, feel however you need to and know it’s ok. Reach out for help, whether it’s through friends, family, or a counselor. When I was caring for my Mom, I remember those feelings like they were yesterday. The guilt of having them was overwhelming at times. Feeling at a loss as to how to make things work better and making her feel more comfortable and happy became so hard.
That’s when I reached out to a counselor specializing in family caregiving and joined up with a group of others going through similar situations. I cannot possibly say enough about either. I’ll never forget the day I talked with others in the group and realized that I was more than a daughter. I’m a…family caregiver? Really? The feelings I’m having are, common? You mean I really didn’t do that wrong?
I hope you’ll reach out, somewhere or to someone. You are surely welcome to sign up for the Breathing Spaces blog, or join our private Facebook group (find it here: Breathing Spaces Family Caregiver Support Group) to be able to connect with other family caregivers. Take the first step, whatever it is, and please take care of YOU.