When You Doubt Yourself As A Caregiver
Last updated: March 2023
I have been a caregiver for several years now. I would not have thought that years ago that I would be in the place I am now.
My father was in the hospital a few weeks ago. I just buried his wife 3 months ago, who I was a caregiver too also. I'm not feeling good about myself right now wouldn’t have believed standing by his hospital bed.
We are stronger than we think
I have lived with several chronic illnesses for decades now. In my mind I'm thinking, how can I be a caregiver to anyone? I don’t feel as if this could really be my life. There are days I feel like I'm living an out of body experience. I don't even recognize myself at times.
Of course, I don't have the time to stay in that space. My father is 88 and needs me every day. As caregivers, we are stronger than we think. Of course, we have days where we just want to give up. There are days the tears won't stop and feel I can't go on. Sometimes the stress and worry can be too much.
I don't worry about what others think
Let’s not leave out the know it all, who think you can’t handle it. Especially those family members. They are the ones that stand in the background and do nothing but have the biggest mouths. I don’t worry about them anymore. But there are days that we will harshly judge ourselves and put too much focus on mistakes we have made. What we seem to forget is all the good we’ve done also.
I appear to the world as this happy go lucky person, but no one sees my sleepless nights and having to worry about bills, medication, food and so many doctor visits. Sometimes I have to find space in my head to think. You go back to happier times and how different things were.
We have to keep fighting, too
As a caregiver, just remember that we have to keep fighting too. But on the other hand, we must be a strong support for our loved ones. Yes, it means not sleeping a night and getting bags under the eyes. But for me, I will take those bags under my eyes any day of the week to keep my family member happy and well taken care of.
Just remember, no matter how bad things get, keep looking for that light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, there are times we will feel broken and have those moment where we don't feel like going on.
There will be challenging days
I looked back on what my father has accomplished in these past 88 years. I think about how he has molded me as a grown adult woman now. I just never imagine how far I can be stretch; I see him every day going downhill. I have to see him as he is today. I have to be more compassion and more potential and beauty.
I will always keep fighting to keep my dad well and safe. Of course, I feel like I'm losing the fight at times, just remember that is will be a good fight. There are days that things will be challenging, inspiring, and beautiful. I will continue to be the best caregiver ever.
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