Believe me when I say, caregiver burnout is a very real malady
Caregiver burnout is natural and to be expected, and certainly nothing to be ashamed of.
The demands placed upon the caregiver are so persistent, so, "IN YOUR FACE!" that it is only to be expected to want to "escape into a good book" or something equally distracting from the realities of the caregiver's life.
As I placed myself under the revealing magnifying glass of self examination I have discovered things, (Let's call them "caregiver warts") that I did not like. It was at times almost like I was seeing a stranger, another person, someone I did not recognize, and often did not like.
Guilt is a killer, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, so how do we eliminate guilt? I don't know if we can do that completely, but I do know that there are things that help.
One is, get help, sooner rather than later.
Find a caregiver's support group nearby that you can attend regularly. Talk to your pastor or a good counselor and by all means ask family members to help! (Hopefully they are willing.) Family can sit and read to your loved one, prepare a meal, visit, be there, whatever. This will allow you to escape for a few hours now and then.
And remember, just by being there, you are doing a marvelous job.
We all feel guilt now and then because we would like to do more and then there are, if you are like me, those times when we feel resentment, anger, frustration, and we tend to overreact.
Norman Cousins, in his. Book: ANATOMY OF AN ILLNESS suggests the use of humor and is he ever right for Laughter is healing, healing, healing!!! Like the bible says, "A happy heart does one good like a medicine." ( my paraphrase.)
I wonder what Erma Bombeck would have to say about care giving? Remember her wonderful book, "THE GRASS IS GREENER OVER THE SEPTIC TANK!? Absolutely priceless.
Another thing that I have found that helps is journaling. Take time to write down your thoughts, things you have heard, seen, done. WRITE!
Remember, no two people ever see the same thing through the same lens, therefore there will invariably be a unique flow, or new perspective on what you write!
Above all, draw near to God, He loves you, and He will always be there for you
P.S. THERE IS HOPE!!!
Dear Heavenly Father, help each of us as only you can. Walk with us, and speak to our spirits that we can be what you want us to be. We love you and we praise you, in Jesus lovely name we ask it, Amen.
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