Tarot Nick - are you still here?
It's been a while. Hope you are well.
Would I be able to trouble you for some advice/insight?
I stepped away, they changed the site a bit too much. I peeked in to see if anyone needed any help. If you guys need anything just let me know.
It is never any trouble to give...
I did too at first, as the new layout seemed very confusing to me.
Hope you are doing good.
Need some advice on coping with caregiving.
2018 is my 3rd year of caregiving. This year it spiraled really fast. The last 4-6months, I’ve been actively working or on standby and doing peripheral tasks 18 hours a day, everyday. I’m sleeping 4 hours or less and skipping meals or eating while moving around and working - just to be able to do everything. Personal care/hygiene and its frequency/timing is inconsistent and entirely dependent on his condition/behaviour day to day. I am interrupted nearly daily while eating/bathing/using the bathroom, to tend to him. Before, I had pockets of time in between and I could take naps. Right now, I’m often working back to back on tasks, and not able to rest at all. Some days I do succumb to power naps, but at the expense of accumulating a backlog of tasks that I then have to work harder and faster to finish. I’m finding it so hard to function that I often have to choose between eating and sleeping, and such.
I feel I’m barely surviving. Moment to moment, it’s just mind over matter to cope with weariness. Sis is in the same boat although she’s handling different tasks. When it gets to night-time, and my body starts to shut down, it’s a real struggle to stay awake. Sometimes I can’t straighten my body or there’s balance issues from fleeting vertigo, or I get a little short on breath, cos the body just wants to sleep – but there’s things to do.
My temper is real short, I cant help it. I am more aware that I do it, that it’s not about others, and they often do not deserve it.
I’ve found ways and things to feel good about and to be grateful for in my interactions with him. Those keeps me going, and temper the struggle.
How do you keep from being angry/resentful and respond in a self-affirming way when others see your struggles, but turn a blind eye (or ignore your weariness and still expect you to still think/act/do thing in ways that you might no longer be able to)?
How do you cope with emotional and physical burnout?
No easy answers, You are not you if you are not getting enough sleep. That will start down grading other emotions and feelings. Some where in there you have to make a hard decision of what can be cut back on because you can't do that many hours. In short sprints yes you can handle it, but long term you won't be even able to help yourself let alone others. I had the ability to hand off and also I am good at shutting down. As long as I can shut my mind down.
On the other question people see what they want too...they can be selfish and don't even see it. I never expected help from the out side. Know you are doing a good thing for a good reason. That feeling will stay with you when the struggles are over. It was five long years, but when I think on it now the time spent I don't remember. I do remember the laughter, and the feeling of love...and when we talk about it...we all laugh. Find little things, moments, that you will cherish, those are what will stay with you. You still care so that is part of the fight. When you get careless then you know you went too far. You do need time for you, that is important...and not cat naps...see I made you smile. You need real time for you so you can keep giving.
I’ve tried cutting back. Trouble is that as his condition progresses, more care is needed. There is so much more work now than compared with this time, last year. It escalated so quickly. Yeah I smiled at the cat naps, I do need more than that. I never would have cannibalized on my own needs, had things not become so dire.
This caregiving situation exists in tandem with my elderly folks entering the phase with the challenges of illness, hospitalization, mobility problems etc. It’s an uncomfortable pairing that has led to a lot of conflict. Initially both of them were healthy and I found it difficult not to get angry about them choosing to help in small, inconsistent doses, or not at all, when I was clearly overloaded and struggling in front of them. I do get that people have a right to choose, but it would have been easier had I just been alone in isolation, instead of around help I couldn’t utilize.
Me and sis are both tapped out of energy and resources. We know in our hearts that we already answered a higher calling to do this caregiving, and this thing with our folks – it’s not our fight, nor our journey. As callous as that could sound. We are meant to move forward to our own lives and paths, once this caregiving thing is done. Yet there is now another potential caregiving issue looming ahead. And an expectation from my folks, that we support them through their health challenges – instead of them getting help from my brother instead. He is minimally involved with family issues, although he lives with us. May (or may not) contribute to bills, but nothing insofar as chores or collective tasks. For some reason, they are reluctant to put responsibility on him. I do feel this is also about them learning to be there for themselves, instead of looking to us to be a safety net. When we clearly cannot help.
I’m nervous to be honest. I’m an easy target to pick up the slack of additional caregiving, because I’m already based at home. But anything more, will literally kill me.
May I also have a reading?
Here you are,
Something is going to change...first thought was a pop...then small smile
You have not lost your ability to think and be a presence when you want...that is still inside you, but you have to let it out
Somebody is not playing nice with you, you are feeling beat up and not stable...
Not only are you narrowing yourself and that you feel restricted, someone else is added to it causing you to beat yourself more
Sad, Misery and also a feeling of pinching of money... making things worse someone it feels like is watching every penny and then judgement with it.
Be open to new ideas... be creative in finding them
More obstacles are coming
You need to find time for you, carve out that time, you need it for that inner peace, I know things are hard but you always needed that time for you...and now you are denying it to yourself... you still are creative...go find it
You have the ability to find it and when you do you will let it shine...go find it
Again that strength is in you, don't doubt it, but if you don't find it you will continue to beat yourself...trust in yourself...there is a strong light in you...
You will need courage...it is not easy, but it starts in you!
Hope that helps,
Yikes...more of the same then.
Do we ever get to sunshine and rainbows?