Avoiding Self-Pity


Avoiding Self-Pity

Let’s face it, sometimes caregiving can be hard. We do what we can and we forge ahead, sometimes it is simply mind over matter.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts." I believe that her quote can be a motto for every family caregiver!

Eleanor Roosevelt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thought about Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote today after having a conversation with another family caregiver who asked me  how I avoid self-pity when in the midst of caregiving. His question forced me to look (hard) at my role as a caregiver and the times when I fell into the trap of self-pity. I concluded that (my) self-pity  comes out in  negative comments or better yet, (actually worse yet!) negative non-verbals.

When we are in the midst of caregiving, it is easy to fall into those negative traps. This conversation today reminded me of one very simple statement  that ‘TLO’ taught me from his caregiving experience with his partner Herman. ‘Remember, it’s the disease talking, not the person!’  Wow! Learning from your caree is one of the greatest gifts we can receive as a caregiver! The conversation also served as a gentle reminder to me that when those late night caregiving duties arrive, as hard as they might be, they are not planned, they just happen. (It’s the disease talking, duh!) 

As caregivers, we can lose a sense of self in our role as a Caregiver. Avoiding self-pity can be as simple as finding a way to turn a negative into a positive. Some other tips that I have found helpful along the caregiving journey  are:

  •  Share your story with other caregivers

  • Join a support group (I recommend Caregiving.com)

  • Journal or blog about your experience

  • Block out time for yourself, even if it’s just five minutes

  • Remember, “It’s the disease talking, not your caree!

  • Reach out for Help, it’s a sign of strength not weakness

  • Be kind to yourself!

Self-pity only makes the caregiving experience more difficult; I am thankful that I had a friend today who was willing to challenge his own caregiving issues, while in turn, helping me with my caregiving issues too!

Eleanor Roosevelt had it right: "With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts."

You see, we might have Cancer; But Cancer does not have us! 

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I resonated very much to your blog Chris. I was feeling sorry for myself pretty much all day today. I was thinking of all the challenges I'm facing and in so doing began craving to smoke which has been my former coping mechanism. The cravings were unbearable even as I kept busy, talked to a family member. The cravings have been coming more frequent and stronger lately. I know to take it one moment and one day at a time, but things that are important needing to be done intrude a great deal all day and even sometimes in my sleep. This is even though I'm doing well at managing tasks and not trying to overdo thins. Truthfully, I miss my old coping mechanism a lot. I know it's crazy but it kept me going or so it seemed for many years. I'm trying to substitute healthier behaviors and doing pretty well with that--could be better. Sometimes I just want to shut down. I probably need to schedule intermittent breaks. Thanks for sharing this great blog. It's not easy for me to admit that I often feel sorry for myself.


What <a href='http://www.m40.siteground.biz/~caregiv6/members/kreisler/' rel=\"nofollow\">@kreisler</a> said!\r\nAnother quote from Eleanor Roosevelt that I love: \"You must do the things you think you cannot do.\"\r\n\r\nAnd \"Be kind to yourself\" is so important!\r\nThank you for this. :-)