“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...
Ask for help
Be pissed off when no one helps
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
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 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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