The traditional image of carers is that they are tired worn down - living an unimaginably dull overloaded life; the imagery often used online and in the media seems to back this up. Caring is hard, it is exhausting, it can be isolating – that is true, however it has much to teach ; I have found it to be an extraordinarily fulfilling pathway to truth, an adventure in love on all possible levels.
As I wrote a few years ago, as a carer : "You will become greater than you ever thought possible, because you really do have to reflect upon what is important to you in your lifeand how to be empowered."
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There are many times however I find myself hanging on by the slenderest of threads , not knowing how to bear another second. But we always come through !!
I am alive, growing, learning, learning more and more how to be real.
This is what I have learned :
- Look after yourself
- Be kind and affirm who you are.
- Be loving, especially to yourself.
- Learn all you can.
- Remain focused on the person- who they are and do not forget this even when illness seems to deny it.
- See the person but recognise their illness reality.
- Take space for yourself to heal your own wounds and losses.
- Keep fit - my bike is a godsend to me.
- Keep healthy by eating well - incredibly important - and exercising regularly if you can.
- Do things you like to do.
- Be together.
- Do not let systems or people be divisive or come between you.
- Do not “clientise” your loved one.
- Find ways of connecting as your essential selves.
- Express your emotions safely.
- Know all you know, in all you do.