Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves. —Pema Chödrön
There can be such loneliness.
Loving someone who is haunted by illness.
You are trying so hard to love them back to health.
All the while, desperately longing to be heard. To be seen. To be loved.
Often unable to speak your truth. To share your pain.
The fear, frustration, guilt… few will understand.
It’s a hopelessness that can’t be explained.
Taking on all the responsibilities. Feeling very alone.
Hoping, trying, praying to hold it all together.
Trying. So. Damn. Hard.
Excited when one good day turns into two.
Yet, unable to enjoy them. Searching for signs of illness again.
Our entire life can become defined by how they are feeling.
And we wonder, who is going to take care of us if we get sick?
We rise each day and push forward but inside…
Inside we begin to feel more and more lost.
To feel more and more alone.
After a lifetime of loved ones with mental illness,
I am sure of one thing.
The person you must heal first is yourself.
The best way to teach others how to care for you is to care for yourself. —Carolyn Witt
When Self-Care Seems Impossible
As family caregivers, we often find ourselves balancing the responsibility of being a partner and/or mother, and a caregiver. And ignoring our own needs. Not only that but frustration, guilt, burnout and compassion fatigue can be consuming.
Self-care begins to feel impossible and we need help finding our way back to wellness.
Being safe is about being seen and heard, and allowed to be who you are and to speak your truth. —Rachel Naomi Remen
Happiness Life Coach
Mindfulness & Emotional Freedom Technique Certified
How did I get here?
I have, and still am, walking this path with you. A schizophrenic father. A bipolar ex-husband. And now, a dear husband struggling with a blown disc, and severe depression and anxiety — there were years when I wasn’t sure he’d survive another day.
My soul has been yearning to reach out to you for as long as I can remember. Warrior-sisters, navigating the hopelessness of family caregiving. I wanted to do it sooner but I waited. It seemed like the right choice. This story didn’t feel like mine to tell. I was overwhelmed. I was so damn tired.
I needed to heal myself first.
The gentle balance of self, wife, lover, and caregiver is delicate. Watching someone you love suffer is unexplainable. The frustration and sometimes anger you feel, followed by the guilt, is unspeakable.
The hopelessness can feel crushing.
I run my own business and for a long while, it was our only source of income. There is a special level of stress on someone who is caring for a loved one while trying to make sure the bills are (mostly) paid and there is food to be eaten. I am still amazed that we made it through those worst years. Exhausted. A bit tattered. But we made it.
With the help of some amazing humans and lots of research, we have learned key healing techniques that have helped but even more importantly (to both our healing) I have learned how to make my care and healing a priority. The healing I have experienced (and still am) has been life-altering.
It is possible to trust, forgive and heal.
I know how suffocating it can feel when you are facing something so painful alone. Surrounded by so many others yet still feeling so alone. The circumstances may differ but the human elements are so much the same. I see you. Your fight is my fight.
I would love to hear from you.
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