give me strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. – Unknown.
Met up with a wonderful friend of mine for lunch today, and she inspired a new post. She is too damn brilliant. She knows exactly how I work, and knows more of what I’m thinking than I do. I wish I could do her words justice, as some of you need the pep talk she gave me today.
I have been fairly anxious lately, worried about getting a job, or going out and seeing friends. I worry too much about the what if’s.”what if you get eaten by a shark?” – My friend was terrified of open water, she worried about getting eaten by a shark, but she recently threw herself (literally) into a PADI course and is now a certified diver, and has seen things that she believes greatly outweigh the (slightly minimal) risk of being eaten by a shark. So why worry about the what ifs? What if nan has a fall when I go out? If she’s going to fall, she will fall whether I am there or not. Hard as it is not to immediately shoulder the blame when something goes wrong, I cannot prevent everything. And going out will do me good, and make me a better caregiver at the end of the day.
So let’s reiterate something I have covered before; “YOU ARE AMAZING”. Full stop. My friend was trying to make me realise that I am a part of this. She told me (I’m still trying to get myself to accept it), that just getting through a week of what I do with nan is amazing, let alone a year, and everything else I get on with in the meantime. You see, there aren’t a lot of people like you and I, that would give up so much to care for a loved one. Even if you don’t live with an illness, you are still trying to do all you can. And that is amazing. And leads into my next point.
If you start struggling, and you have to stop caring and use outside help, or consider a residential care, you haven’t failed. According to my friend , I have a fear of failure. A fear that may have caused me to fail previous attempts at things. Because if you don’t try, you’ve automatically failed. But I (you) have tried, and I still am. And if there comes a day where the bad outweighs the good, it is OK to step back. No-one will judge me for not being able to cope anymore, but I have to be honest about when that time comes.
What about the guilt I feel? When I dream of all the things I think I’m missing? Am I going to mess up my future because I’m living with nan (potential husbands will not be staying the night at my nan’s house!)? It is OK to feel guilty, but I (you/we) have to consider the things I want, and make time for them to happen. So my friend has given me homework (a 24 year old should not have homework coming in at all angles!), instead of a list of all the reasons why I’m amazing, a list of the things I want to have achieved by this time next year. And then she’s going to help me figure out how to make them happen (I truly truly love this girl, the support she’s given me throughout the years is insane, I would have given up on me by now, but she’s still fighting away).
Another of my friends points was to make more time for myself. Especially now I have started a job as a caregiver. She brought up my dreams of opening a drop in centre for carers like you and I.How can I encourage others to take time out if I refuse to do it myself? Much as I am already loving my new job, I do worry I may throw myself in too much. Luckily my boss is very understanding of our situation and I believe she will refuse to let me do anything to detriment my own health, and nans. But I must remember it is OK, no, essential in order to be a good caregiver, to give yourself time to recover.
So remember; “give me strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”. We cannot change everything, or prevent bad things from happening, but we can find the strength to deal with these situations. It may be hard sometimes but there are things we can do to change some situations, for the better. And it is important to know the things you can and can’t control.
Thankyou friend 🙂 xxx