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It's ok to... (or "what I wish I'd known")

“I wish I had known that” is something I think I’ve probably said thousands of times.

Being a carer to my mum and my reasoning on why I dislike for the word carer has brought with it so many challenges, and I often felt like I was the first person facing them.

Spoiler alert, I wasn’t.

But the isolation, that so many people feel going through similar situations, is real.

And it is a problem.

Supporting someone you love brings with it a whole host of emotions that no one prepares you for or talks about.

The first time I met someone who was going through a similar situation, it was such a relief to know that it wasn’t just me dealing with these emotions. Especially, some which I was embarrassed and ashamed that I was feeling.

So I wish I had known that it is ok to...

  • Feel guilty

  • Be frustrated

  • Ask for help

  • Be pissed off when no one helps

  • Cry

  • Be annoyed when someone asks if you’ve been crying

  • Feel like you are missing out on life because of it

  • Say "I don’t know"

  • Feel like your home is a prison

  • Not answer the phone when things are getting too much

  • Feel like your life doesn’t seem to belong to you anymore

  • Say “No” when you can’t take it anymore

  • Feel lonely

  • Make time for yourself

  • Be angry when you have to change your plans because something has come up

  • Hide things from your friends

  • Question a Doctor – they don’t always know it all

  • Laugh at how ridiculous the situation is

  • Feel under-valued

  • Feel like people don’t care about you

  • Wish this all happened to someone else

  • Want it to end

  • Feel like you are not doing enough

  • Feel like you will never do enough

  • Feel like you are doing too much

  • Say things in your head that you are truly ashamed of

We all go through these emotions, but it is so much worse thinking you are going through them alone.

Fortunately, there are plenty of people out there who know exactly how this feels. If you would like a safe space to connect with other carers, we suggest joining our private online community of unpaid carers. Where we ask questions daily and help each other out with answers based on our own experiences and wisdom.

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