For those of us who’ve had to care for a loved one that is suffering mental issues, it’s an incredibly mixed bag of emotions at the best of times. As someone who has a brother who is bi-polar and had both parents die with dementia or Alzheimer’s, I empathise with that rollercoaster.
Running hot and cold from empathy, anger, exhaustion, guilt, worry and at times humour, it can be exceptionally difficult to navigate. The hardest for me and many being guilt.
How can we feel sorry for ourselves when our loved ones are living with so much worse? But there are days when you just can’t take any more and need something uplifting to enable you to continue that care. Qualifying that to oneself can be a brutal undertaking, though.
But separation is important. Being able to step away and take time to assess and look after one’s own emotions is crucial and even though there will always be an element of guilt attached to walking away for a while, one must care for the carer: a service so lacking in society today where a lot of the early stages (at least) of these illnesses are left in the hands of unqualified family members.
So, if you’re having to navigate those waters, despite the feelings of guilt, please do find a way to separate yourself from the situation. However short, taking time to reassess and find fortitude is essential and imperative. It allows for strength to prevail at a time of dwindling emotional resources. Good luck and empowerment to you. My thoughts are with you.
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