He Ain’t Heavy
He Ain’t Heavy
He’s my brother, my sister, my father, my mother, my wife, my husband, my friend, my son, my daughter ……
We grow weary caring for our loved ones. Many of us feel guilty because we often feel angry for having to care for a sick or aging loved one. Questions like, “why didn’t you listen to the Dr. 10 years ago? You could’ve prevented this. Or, ” how come I have to do all the work just because I live closer to mom and dad?” Sound familiar? We struggle with caring for aging parents or sick friends and relatives.
Tips from the Trail
1. Understand that anger and guilt are part of the mourning process. We mourn the loss of our own freedom and dreams of what we envisioned for our futures when a spouse, or parent requires care. Having an awareness of our emotions is where we need to start.
2. Feeling these emotions is the next step necessary to work through the grieving process; It’s how we choose to behave, or respond to those feeling that matters.
3. Understand the only control we really have in life is how we think. Our thoughts inform our feelings, and our feelings drive our reactions or behaviors. When you feel anger and /or guilt, be aware of those feelings. Uncouple the story line that is tied to the feeling. For example: I am so ticked off at him right now so I feel angry. Notice the words you connect to the feeling. Kindly tell yourself, “yup, that’s the story line that feeds the wrong wolf, or adds fuel to the fire. Feel the feeling, breathe and let go of the words as if they are floating off in a balloon or bubble.
4. If you find yourself struggling with anger and guilt, seek help. We all suffer from the same human condition… We all need to carry each other at some point in time and at the same time we may need someone else to take the baton for us so we can rest.
I hope this caregiver fatigue post offers you insight and makes you realize you are not alone.
Keep calm and carry on.