A Coping Strategy: Giving Back and Paying It Forward

dont_compare-346460This afternoon on Your Caregiving Journey, @bobinMO joined for a great discussion on his coping strategy: Giving back and paying it forward. You can listen to our show via the player, below.

Bob is an active member of our community–he supports other members of our Caring for Spouse group and pops into our chats when he can. He joined our community with the purpose of giving back, which intrigued me. (You can listen to another show about giving, “When Giving Without Receiving Becomes Taking,” here.) We discussed the importance of giving, which he uses as a coping strategy in caring for his wife. You’ll love listening to his perspective during the show, especially when you understand the other side of his caregiving story: Bob is in a wheelchair because of an injury he sustained in 1997.

Bob spoke of his love for his wife and how he keeps his focus on giving to her because she gave so much to him during their 30-year marriage. He passionately spoke about self-pity–the most damaging emotion of all, he said. He also explained that we live our life in chapters, meaning we aren’t meant to move seamlessly throughout our life. We have beginnings and endings throughout. “Don’t compete with yesterday,” he said.

I’d love to know what you think. Does it help when you give back to another? If it does, do you make giving back a conscience effort? Please share your thoughts in our comments section, below.

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2 Comments on "A Coping Strategy: Giving Back and Paying It Forward"

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Apr 26, 2013

I’ve always felt a great amount of joy in giving back. Now that I’m nearly a fulltime Caregiver, it isn’t easy to make commitments of time, or being someplace. The next crisis always seems to be just around the corner. I was raised to do volunteer work; my father made me do that during my high school years instead of a paying job. I learned the value to self, and community. As an adult, I’ve tried to do what I can. I was looking forward to really getting involved when I retired; and then…It sadden me that I could not help others. When I got my first call to be a WAIT Buddy, I was so grateful and excited to be able to lighten someone else’s load if only in a small way

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May 1, 2013

I am now approaching 6 years of full time around the clock care for my husband of 44 years. He had a massive brain bleed in 2008, 24 different hospitalizations, and enormous medical needs. Because I had been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer just 8 months prior to his collapse, I was still recovering myself, weak, and so frightened. Yet when my illness first started he took care of me,he cooked, cleaned and supported me in every way. I just made my mind up that I was going to return the favor to him regardless and I simply was not willing to let anyone else care for him. Hard it was, I was exhausted, and fatigued. It is very difficult to get help because unless you have endured this most people do not understand you can’t just go out and go to work,finding qualified medical caregivers is almost impossible for someone with a teach, and if you can together, the cost is out of sight. So I chose to keep him home and do it myself. I have reaped a blessing in doing this, I have developed great skills, I am his Respiratory therapist, I am hid Physical and Occupational therapist, Nutritionist, and Ambulance driver. I have gotten the things I need for his care by seeking help from others who understand.