Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lamp Shade

Often as we go along a darkness will settle that we just didn't see coming. Ageing brings with it it's own set of issues but coupling that with the dynamic of caring for aged parents life can get really difficult and stay that way for longer than we can guess. During these times finding time for self care is the last thing we feel we can actualize. Some years ago my mother was diagnosed with a very serious terminal disease. It wasn't easy meeting my own needs during the time when my mother needed me so very much. I stole time away for myself when I simply couldn't go another step. In retrospect both of our lives would have been more peaceful had we asked for more attendant help sooner.

When we did get care, we both began to feel better, calmly, and immeasurably better. The ship of ourselves, after being whipped around and floundering on the sea of change and concern, found itself calming and righting itself. It's ok to ask for help when you're feeling overwhelmed. In light of love, I highly encourage it.

3 comments: said...

So true Colette... if you are like me, I always leave it way too long before I ask for any help, and usually end up on the point of breaking before I pull back and realise what is happening. After years and years of looking after disturbed adopted children and seeing both my parents die of cancer, Me in a totally stressed out, but In a 'I have to deal with this and carry on' mode, I finally got my own cancer. I really believe that continuous stress of the type where there is no respite did contribute to my own recline.
At the moment I find myself feeling responsible for a very demanding and unreasonable elderly relative, (really, you would honestly seee what I mean if you met her!) and quite frankly, I find that I can not cope with too much stress anymore! I feel like a vase that has broken and been glued back together very well, but if you look closely.. there are a thousand cracks! So, when I feel stressed now I try to give myself a bit extra care, even if it means just having a couple of hours watching a favourite film or doing something silly! Great post Colette! Have a lovely weekend! suzie xxx

Colette George said...

Suzie, I can really relate to so much of what you've shared. It is not hard to believe, either, that you're caring for someone unreasonable and demanding. It goes hand in hand with sick &/or disabled elderly. She is a lucky recipient of your care. I'm soo glad to hear you make time out for yourself, even if it is to recharge briefly. We've got to take those moments out where the pressing matters at hand cease to exist in our minds, at least for a little while, detaching the best we can for our own care. I always think of the movie "Heidi" Remember the grandpa saying- "Heidi, you have to take care of yourself, or how will you ever continue to give?" Your compassion is so great and so is your empathy. These elderly are often fighting for their lives and we recognize that. But- we have to start giving ourselves better care than we used to believe we should. Because everybody wins then. I'm digging through my own self doubts but am aiming for more love for all involved. Life should be as peaceful as possible.
I think our expectations of ourselves continue to change and morph as well.
Thank you for being so open and sharing from the heart. You are amazing Suzie. & Thank you for all you do for your relative- even though she may not say thank you often. It is a hard job and not enough thanks are usually given.

Hugs to you my Heidi friend :)

Michelle said...

ummmm...asking for help...hate doing that and am not very good at it either. I do agree with what you say though. There was a Sandra Bullock movie (not necessarily one of her better ones) 28 Days where during a team work building activity she is made to wear a sign around her neck that says "confront me if I don't ask for help" it made me laugh but I've often felt I should have it tattooed on my forehead - lol. Seriously though did self sacrifice feeling absolutely guilty of taking time and care for yourself come with the x chromosome?