How Do I Like My Eggs? Umm, In a Cake.

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How Do I Like My Eggs? Umm, In a Cake.

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You know that old saying – “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.”  Well, this week for me, it was more like – “when the going gets tough, eat potato chips and chocolate ice cream, then feel really guilty and hate yourself in the morning.”  Not exactly what the original meaning had in mind.

As a caregiver for my mom, when things get tough, as they often do, my coping mechanisms are not always the best.  I know that I’m supposed to take a walk, do some yoga or count my Weight Watchers points, but at the end of a trying day I’m tired and cranky and one slice turns into the whole cake (50 points!)

If my friend called me and explained the incredibly sadness and stresses that she experienced as a caregiver and then told me she ate too much, I would totally understand and tell her not to beat herself up.  I just can’t seem to muster that same level of kindness for myself.

As caregivers, we give so much of ourselves and our compassion to others.  Why is it hard for us to be just and gentle and forgiving to ourselves? I would absolutely never talk to someone trying their best for another human being the way some of my self-talk goes.

This week, as an experiment, I’m going to attempt to be nicer to myself and more forgiving of my flaws.  When that negative self-talk starts, I’m going to think “would I say this to a friend of mine?”  If not, then cut it out!

We all have our ways of coping, some good, some bad and if you get a chance, please listen to this week’s podcast “On The Frontlines of Caregiving.”  I was honored to interview the author Helaina Hovitz Regal.  Helaina was 12 years old and living across the street from the World Trade Center on 9/11.  Her memoir “After 9/11: One Girl's Journey through Darkness to a New Beginning” is brutally honest about the aftermath of this experience, her destructive way of coping, and how she found her way back to sobriety.

Helaina opens up to me about this time in her life and how her grandmother’s love was the one thing that got her through.  We also discuss her intense fears about being an only child and becoming a caregiver as her parent’s age.

I hope you like it, and then let’s all apply this quote to ourselves – “nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.  Be gentle with yourselves caregiver warriors!

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CathyJ

Lynette, Thanks for sharing. I love your title of your blog! I am working really hard too on being nice to myself and living healthier. I've done pretty well (except for yesterday and it appeared it was time to ingest as much sugar as humanly possible!)...but back on track today. I just feel so much better and in control when I take time to walk and focus on healthy eating. This is such a roller-coaster journey and I am, and always have been, a stress eater. I am learning to forgive myself when I slip and get back on the good health wagon. I hear those friends voices too and I appreciate having friends on this site I can text/message for encouragement when that cookie and stress are screaming my name. I am going to set a goal to listen to the podcast you recommended as well. Here to a cakeless day!