This morning on Your Caregiving Journey, Anna Stookey joined me to discuss the relationship of pain to suffering. Pain is a part of life; does suffering have to be a part of the pain equation? You can listen to our show via the player below.

Caregiving is a painful experience–there’s no doubt about it. When the pain becomes about suffering, then it seems the painful experience takes everything from you—perspective, sense of humor, choices, options, confidence, hope, faith. Suffering intensifies the pain, making life all about the painful experience. Suffering seems to silence any of life’s blessings.

Anna and I discussed some strategies you can use to minimize your suffering in order to better manage a painful experience. We talked about curiosity, which can help you disengage from the drama of the suffering.

So, I wonder: When have you suffered in caregiving? When have you felt like the pain of caregiving swallowed you? Please share your story, and how you worked through it, in our comments section below.


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About Denise

I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues. I've written several caregiving books, including "The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey," "Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers" and "After Caregiving Ends, A Guide to Beginning Again." You can purchase my books and schedule a coaching call with me in our store.


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I enjoyed this show very much! Thank you. As my mother required more help with personal care, mobility, and communication, my pain within caregiving turned to suffering. At times (and even now at times) it felt like too much to endure. For me, talking with someone to work through acceptance of what is happening with my mother (and me), is a wonderful relief. I also began to think of detachment (from a previous show) as a tool. I liked how Anna talked again about detaching: as not being attached to it, but watching it. She went on to talk about… Read more »