Confessions of a First-Time Caregiver - Part 7


Confessions of a First-Time Caregiver - Part 7

shopping-cart-1275482_640My Walmart Life

My life before caregiving was pretty sweet. About a year and a half ago I was laid off from a job I'd been with for five years and I was ecstatic! I could go back to freelancing, but this time, I vowed to do it big. I also vowed not to squander my free time. My life was going to be about me, not getting up at 6:30 a.m., not about rush-hour traffic or scarfing down lunch or sleep-driving home. It was more about meditating, getting massages and maintaining Peace.

My life began at 8 or 9 a.m. I'd check emails while having a leisurely, healthy breakfast, then off to work out, then back for a healthy post-workout meal. It wasn't until then I would put in some stress-free hours of work. After a few hours, you guessed it, my healthy dinner (actually thought about going vegan), some T.V. shows, or maybe out for some socializing.

My life was about travel. Miami, London and Barbados are places I'd go regularly. Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Saint Marten and Punta Cana are also favorites, and most recently, I've become acquainted with Toronto. I vowed to travel the whole month of my 50th birthday next year -- Africa, Brazil, Europe.

My life began to be about enriching myself by delving into my profession: Art. Starting a better business, being truly successful, I'd joined the Social Media committee at church and was easily attending service every Sunday.


My life has become much less cosmopolitan. No more city. I don't even know what this is. It's — there's only one word to describe where I am, and that's...where I am: DELAWARE (no offense to Delaware lovers, I'm just a guy from another part of town!).

I'm here often enough to know what this place is about. I've even found it quaint. I was here monthly helping my folks since my Dad's mild dementia diagnosis got his driver's license revoked. But last night, after finding out I was not going home this weekend — the one thing that was keeping me going — I had to get out of the house. So I went to Walmart.

I actually needed to get some things, but I was too distraught to shop. My brother originally said he was leaving for his home for a week on Monday. Great! I could still get home on the weekend, with my sister filling in! But then he said he was leaving on Saturday, presumably before my sister arrived. Not only will I have to stay the weekend, it will just be my mother and me all next week, and right now, Dad is a three-person job. That little respite would have gotten me through the week.

As I walked around the store in a daze, that feeling of being trapped rushed over me again. I felt heavy and drained. Everyone around me seemed like they were from Bizarro World. I thought, "This is now my life. My Walmart life." I nearly broke down just outside the shoe isle. (You can laugh, I know this is melodramatic!) I pulled myself together and made my way back home and back in my caregiving role.

Guess what? It's Saturday, 11:32 p.m. and guess who's still here? Yup. Brother.

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So sad but it is the new normal and when all is said and done, you will know in your heart that what you did choose is right. Peace for today


Oh, that feeling of being trapped! I get that. You don't have a choice, you don't have spontaneity, you don't have what you once did. And, I totally understand why it would hit at Walmart!\r\n\r\nKeep writing. :) And, I hope when you write you feel little less trapped.


It would only seem melodramatic to someone who never went through such a dramatic change. It is a rough road to be on so more respites the better (even if the respite is brief...).