This week I have been working with many people, friends, colleagues, and clients who are facing the pain of watching a family member or a friend suffer from an illness – Depression, bio-polar, cancer, dementia, MS, Parkinson, and chronic pain.
Being a caretaker for someone who is suffering from an illness is filled with mixed emotions. It is difficult to feel that you deserve to rest, take a breather, be happy, or enjoy anything around while a loved one is suffering. The emotion of powerlessness creates depression. The attempt to kick out of this powerlessness at times leads to many desperate actions that do not necessarily help anything, but it depletes one’s energy and financial resource.
The process of grief already starts, knowing that you will be losing someone, experiencing the helplessness, and watching the process of deterioration becomes heart-wrenching. At times when others say so nonchalantly to get over it and that is just life, brings about rage. Facing, living with, and interacting with a loved one who can be needy, irritated, or demanding is tough.
Listening to others who try to be positive and give a general sentence of “It will all be ok” creates disconnection. It is as if nothing can help. Trying to keep pseudo-positive in front of the loved one that is suffering so that it does not affect them is tiring. The responsibility of being a caretaker is heavy and tiresome.
So what can lighten this process up?
- Know that all that I mentioned above are normal reactions of a compassionate human being.
- Your experience and reactions may differ and be unique to you. Honor them.
- Create “away time” – physically and emotionally – you need to rest and be away from the pain sometime during the day and week.
- Set up one caring and pampering act for yourself – massage, nature walk, exercise, Yoga, meditation, etc. per day.
- Be present with your loved ones no matter what condition they are in. You don’t have to fix this. You can’t fix this. Just be with them.
- Your love and acceptance will go a long way for you and them.
- Be respectful to your body and psyche. When you feel like you are reaching your limit, remove yourself, take care of yourself and then come back.
- Find resources and support. Ask for help.
- Assess what is in your control and what isn’t. Let go of what is not in your control, and act on what you can do.
- Assess what action can actually be beneficial and only spend your energy on those tasks.
You deserve to live a happy life even though a loved one is suffering. For more awareness and ways to learn about yourself go to my book – “Life Reset – The Awareness Integration Path to Create the Life You Want”.