You are probably involved in caregiving in some way, or you would not be reading this blog on caregiving. Caregiving is hard, and it is lonely. At times it seems like a roller coaster of emotions and sometimes a runaway train of responsibility. Sometimes it feels like the walls are closing in on you. Sometimes though, there is incredible bonding with your loved one or your care receiver. No day is the same, and that is probably a good thing because some days you need a break from the constant needs.
Weariness Makes Everything Seem Monster Size
When we are worn out physically, mentally or emotionally, everything can seem like a bigger deal than it is. The load is substantial, and you feel like you are all you have. Then a day comes that you have to do something unpleasant, and your loved one complains and is cranky and takes all frustration out on you. Its too much and you are tempted to strike back verbally or worse physically. You feel pushed to the edge. What do you do?
When Life Becomes Mechanical
Routine has a mechanical feeling to it. You have a tight schedule, and you stick to it because your sanity relies on it. You have in the past been very patient and even more patient than you thought you could be. Then your loved one complains, and you realize you have not been patient and you have not been forgiving. You have stuffed it deep inside where you thought you would never see it again. I can feel a knot forming in my stomach just writing about this. I’ve been there, and the pain is real.
If this has gone on for any length of time, its time to communicate with your loved one or care receiver. They are going through a lot of frustration and fear as they are less and less the person they use to be. The schedule of appointments and clinics and medications and special diets is all about them. Their world is so much smaller than it used to be, they forget they are not the center of the universe or the only person you have to comfort. So, how do you talk to someone especially when you are angry or tired or both?
You Deserve A Break
I suggest getting your loved one settled, then go for a walk. Get some fresh air, and take some deep breaths. Clear your mind and try to imagine what it would be like to feel yourself losing all your abilities. What would it feel like to not be able to care for yourself? Be empathetic, but admit, to yourself, you feel overwhelmed. There are no atheists in a foxhole someone has said. Right now, you are in a foxhole. Pray……help…..its too much.
Be The Anchor
Then come back refreshed, with some empathy and ready to kindly present your side of the problem. Try to reach a point of forgiveness from both parties. Help your loved one be empathetic of you, but remember they see you as having the advantage because you are well.
God Is The Third Strand of Strength
God more than cares for you and your loved one. It has been said that God rises to show us compassion. He has promised to help us and give us rest. A rope of three strands is stronger than one of two strands. You don’t have to do this alone.