For any of you out there who are carers for someone whoever they are you will probably understand how much of a sacrifice you have made in order to make that person’s life that little bit more bearable. Taking on the role of a carer means that you give up a great deal of freedom or hope of a life of your own. You do this without regard for the timescale. You take on the role without conditions and without a care for yourself. It all becomes about that person with all your attention and energy being focussed on them from the word go. I am not saying that it is a thankless task, it just sometimes feels like you are being used with no regard for your feelings or how stressed or tired you have become.
Caring can have it’s rewards. For one thing it gave me the satisfaction that that person was looked after better than they would have been in a care home. The bond between carer and caree becomes quite strong as they come to trust you for more than their care. That trust is something that is yours alone and although it too can become oppressive, because they expect you to do everything for them, it comes with gratitude for not leaving them.
Everybody experiences the process of caring differently. Some find they can’t deal with it and it then becomes a health issue for them, while others come to it naturally. So before you decide totally on this role think deeply about whether you can do it and the future consequences of your decision. You will forfeit a lot and not gain a lot in return over time.
I have been carer now for over 10 years and I have been through a rollercoaster of thoughts and emotions. I have been from dealing with it well to borderline walking away. Most of all I suffered deep regret for what I have sacrificed and the time I have lost for having a life of my own. No one said it was easy and truthfully it is not. Every morning I wake to another day of wishing I was elsewhere only to snap myself out of it, don my carer’s hat and start again. It will all end one day and I will feel a deep void for a while as I will no longer be needed except by myself.