Caregiving stirs up so many emotions—emotions sometimes too embarrassing to acknowledge. You may wonder: Is this normal?
Take this quick test (just answer yes or no) to find out how normal your caregiving experience is:
1. I often long for the days prior to my caregiving role.
2. On a regular basis, I fight to maintain my composure.
3. Sometimes, I just dread interacting with my caree.
4. I often think I am not doing enough.
5. I feel shame about my emotions, particularly the resentment and anger.
6. I have wished that my caregiving days would end.
7. I have hidden from my caree (in another room, in my car, in the bathroom).
8. I am not the person I was.
9. I have lost my temper.
10. I am really, really tired.
Did you answer yes to any of the questions? To all of them?
Guess what? You’re normal!
Caregiving can test you unlike an other life experience. The emotions associated with a caregiving experience can be so negative—even if you really, really love your caree. These emotions can wear you down faster than the transfers you make from the bed to commode. To stay well emotionally, consider joining a support group, seeing a counselor, hiring a coach, or creating another way for you to vent regularly about what’s really happening.
The worst part about your caregiving challenges? Keeping it to yourself. Find a safe haven to be who you are.