Coming out of the Darkness of Caregiving
Hello everyone. I haven’t posted a blog in a while I know, but I’m slowly making it back on the scene. Everyone that has had a loss of a loved one and or was a caregiver for your loved one can relate to wanting to take time to recover from the heartache and exhaustion. It’s a lot, and you shouldn’t apologize for that.
When I lost my brother from cancer in April 2015 after six months after his diagnosis, my heart was broken he was my hero. I couldn’t even grieve with my mom because of her dementia, so I grieved and moved forward as a caregiver for her. Then my mother passed away from suffering for ten years from vascular dementia in June 2017. That was devasting because it was something that I couldn’t help, I just watched as she suffered and no matter how much care I provided she couldn’t get better. Lastly my stepdad in June 2018 from a combination of being my mom’s caregiver, heartbreak from her passing, and kidney failure this year I was spent. Being a caregiver has a way of breaking your whole being down, and my health went into a tailspin.
I was just numb; there isn’t anyway else to describe it. Life is funny that way I guess. Walking down the street shortly after my mom passed seeing people going on with their day to day lives as my little portion of the world was in a tailspin. I honestly didn’t think that the pain would go away, but as time passed, it got better. I knew that my mom and my brother were no longer in pain and that gave me solace. My stepdad went so quickly and unexpected. He loved my mom so much I believe that he was ready. He always told me if anything happened to him he had a good life.
I’ve always been a loner. Since my brother was ten years older than me, I learned to entertain myself. I hang out when I want with my friends, but I relish my time alone. It’s helped me a lot. My home is my sanctuary. Yes, friends will reach out to you, and that’s great to laugh and listen when you want to talk but let me tell you why alone time is necessary too. When you get around your friends and family, you don’t get a chance to grieve and be alone in your thoughts. Same for work. Going back to work is helpful, I must admit being busy helped me, but I still put in my me time. Sometimes people will act like they care when they don’t primarily in the workplace at times so be careful not to use work as a crutch. The “noise” of others although comforting doesn’t allow you to take in your thoughts in your mind in my opinion. You have to embrace the pain that comes from grief not pack it away.
Self-care! Self-care! Self-care! I can’t say it enough how for a recovering caregiver is so important. Whatever that is for you make sure you do that. But you must grieve. Mediate, write, and or workout anything that will be good for you and your body, mind, and soul.
So that it’s guys, I’m okay, and if you’re going through it, you will be okay too. Continue to stay strong and encouraged as a caregiver or any challenges you face in your life. You can get through it and when you do share your testimony, as I do through my quotes on my Instagram page or through my blog. You’re not alone.