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I’m a… Family Caregiver?

It feels as though just yesterday you were basking in the joy of your honeymoon, yet today, you're navigating the aisles of a store, searching for mattress protection covers for your wife. The sudden onset of her illness blindsided you, and the reality of the situation is something you never anticipated. While your love for her remains unwavering, you can't help but wonder how you arrived at this point and how you'll manage to endure the challenges ahead.


Regardless of the individual you're caring for, the fabric of your everyday life has been intricately woven with the responsibilities of caregiving. There are days when everything seems to fall into place and others when an overwhelming sense of helplessness consumes you. Nights are spent in restless contemplation, replaying the events leading up to this moment and grappling with unanswerable questions—why did this happen, how did it happen, what if it had been different? These thoughts haunt you like persistent nightmares, refusing to be silenced.


While every caregiving journey is unique, a common thread binds them all: feelings. Doubts about whether you're doing everything right, fears of saying the wrong thing, and a swirling mix of anger, resentment, and regret become inseparable from your existence. This tapestry of emotions is unlike anything you've experienced before, casting a shadow over even the brightest moments.


Yet, amidst the turmoil, it's crucial to recognize that it's okay to feel however you need to. Seeking support is not a sign of weakness but a courageous step towards healing. Reflecting on my own experience caring for my Mom, I vividly recall the suffocating weight of guilt and the frustration of feeling inadequate in my efforts to provide comfort and happiness. However, reaching out to a counselor specializing in family caregiving and connecting with others facing similar challenges proved to be a lifeline. The realization that my struggles were shared by many and that I wasn't alone in navigating this unfamiliar terrain was a revelation.


The validation and support offered by these avenues helped alleviate my self-doubt and allowed me to embrace my role as a family caregiver with newfound clarity and confidence.


So, I implore you to seek solace in the company of others—whether it's through friends, family, or professional support. Remember, you're not just a spouse, a child, or a relative; you're a caregiver, and your feelings are valid. You're not alone; there's strength in reaching out for help, wherever or whoever it may be.



Cyndi Mariner

Breathing Spaces

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