I feel deeply depressed and exhausted. Everyone else is sick (as am I), yet I am the one who must pick myself up and go on and care for them. I get cranky and irritable, even resentful. Sometimes I don't want to go on anymore and I cry and feel dazed. But I know deep down that I will go on, I always do. The way seems so cloudy and I may not be able to see the path, but I still stumble forward. I try to refocus, remember things to look forward to or read inspirational quotes to pick myself up. I can't explain it, but somehow there is always a way to make things feel right. If it doesn't seem clear at the time, then wait a while. Time has a way of bringing all answers. You will simply just know what to do. Having an epiphany, I suppose. We spend so much time staring at the closing door that often we do not see another door opening. (Don't remember who I'm quoting).
You are very wise...and the emotions and feelings you are experiencing aren't uncommon for the caregiver. When we are in overwhelm it isn't easy to see the bigger picture.. taking time for yourself be it a nice long walk, a hot relaxing bath with some candles, aromatherapy, reading a book, doing some gentle yoga exercises all help to balance your own mind, body and spirit. Writing is another way you can release much of what you are feeling. Writing early in the morning lets you release your own worries, fears and doubts. Then you are free to move through the day with more clarity and purpose and most of all an open heart.
Take the time... no one else can do this for you...
Feeling overwhelemed is part and parcel with being a caree giver. It's so easy to do if wee allow ourseelves to be buried by our circumstances. Onee thing I find helps is to turn my attitude on to the postive button and try and get my mind in geear to follow. We are moree than conquerors. We shall overcome if we do not faint. We have to disipline ourselves to be on top of our circumstances and not visa versa. one of my favorite bible verses is that theey that wait upon the Lord shall reenew their strength they shall run and not be weary they shall walk and not faint. WE sing a coourese in church that says turn your eeyes upon Jesus look full in His wonderful face and thee cares of life will grow strangley dim i thee light of His glory and grace. we shall overcome! I know how difficult it is when you're there and it's seems theree is only one way up and that is down, I know i've been there. and I've found the answer to rising above this awful feeling is just to concentrate on HIs goodnss and mercy and grace and we do not walk this journey alone. He's always there and sometimes He's carrying us. This site is a well spring of living waters of hope and trust and love and support. God's richest blessings on all of you. Gloria
You write beautifully and you know what you need to know in your heart. We are all walking through this learning to embrace the higher power and keep ourselves open to receiving as well as giving...it's wonderful having you with us. Hope you are feeling better as well.
Dedra: You sound like you have dealt with this more than once. You have some very good ideas and I will try them for myself. I have been there and, like you, have tried many things. It is a shame but,in my experience, the thing that works one time does not work at another time. And I have read enough to know that different people try different things. When I was a working girl, long ago, I built a depression up over a period of years. One of the strongest part of it was that I thought my family's or my husband's or my daughter's action reflected on me and I was supposed to keep my relatives straightened out. LOL My younger sisters are in their fifty's and I still forget sometimes and try to tell them what to do. It took a professional to clear that up but what a load off my shoulders. Since then I have had other things, (wrong ideas or beliefs, too great expectations, whipping myself over what I did in the past)continue until I was completely down. One trick I have learned over the years is to look at whatever is bothering me the most (I often have a whole list) and make decisions. There are three choices (1)what to do about this (2)to not do anything about this or(3)to postpone making a decision about this for a certain length of time. If I can then get one good night's rest, I usually come out feeling much better. (I was an accountant before I retired. LOL) I was once told that resentment, left untreated, will kill the person who resents just as surely as a weak heart or obesity will do so. I believe it! I am also a firm believer in a Rx for loving hugs. Most important I believe in turning to the Comfortor placed within me by Jesus. I am still down sometimes. Life is made up of hills and valleys, and I know I have to find the path back to the hilltop. May God bless each of us and help us find the path that we most enjoy for that is probably the one that will do the most for those around us. Nina
I so agree with you! What works for one person may not work for another. It took me a while to figure this out, too. We read some self help book, or listen to someone and think, "They have all the answers. If I do what they do, then maybe I can strighten myself out." This is false - I now think that I may read the book, but if I only come away with little segments that I realistically think will help me, then so be it. I may even scrap the whole book, or seminar, etc. As long as I keep trying.
I think it's also important to realize that everyone has their bad days, too. Even Ghandi or Mother Theresa probably had their cranky days. We sometimes hear only the best of people and sometimes feel we failed in the shadow of such people. We can't be 100% for 100% of the time. Likewise, I speak well this evening, but by tomorrow I might be back to being stressed out and exhausted and irritable! And I'll probably be the first one to criticize myself for it and beat myself up a bit before getting back on track and accepting that I just had a bad day - get on with it!
I'm a firm believer in trying to find the "silver lining" in every situation. I believe that we do learn a lot about ourselves through our suffering. We may go through a lot in caring for someone, or being in pain ourselves, but we learn so much more. We are so much more rich in character and compassion that those who have never suffered.
I also agree with you that we must let go of resentment and hate. I used to spend so much time absorbed in hate in my late teens/early 20s over my parents divorce and fighting with my mom. I never found peace until I let that go and accepted my situation and learned to forgive. Hate wastes so much of our energy - much more than love, which not only prevents the drain but revitalizes us. I became very ill myself and suffered extreme pain for over a year (had to have a hysterectomy at age 26)- which was terrible but also made me realize what my mother was going through. I'm actually thankful for the experience - it brough us together again.
You sound like you've been through a lot, too and come out a much stronger person for it. I like your 3 steps - I guess we should try to keep things simple! Don't complicate our lives any more than they already are! I'm always learning and I know I still have a long road ahead of me to being a better caregiver. I guess we all continue to evolve and we're never the same person today as we were yesterday. You can't step in the same place twice.
You are very wise and have been through so much. Daily we heal and grow and move closer to our authenticity. When the student is ready the teacher is there and vice versa. We are all in this together learning, growing and healing.
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