The letter below is from a caregiver ready to give up.
I am 67 years old, sleeping once again in the house I was raised in. I have given 6 years so far, caring for my 92-year old mother who has Alzheimer’s. My husband, children and grandchild live in another state, without me. People say this is the responsible thing to do.
I attended support groups for years and have read every printed book on Alzheimer’s and caregiving. It seems nothing helps anymore. I am just “stuck”. So I carry on each day, cooking, cleaning and handling the perpetual emergencies. One step at a time; one more day, and the days turn into years. This is my life’s sentence and one I had not planned.
I just want this to end and it seems hopeless. I am giving up. I no longer respect life in the end. The cost is too much for everyone. Do I give another 6 years? I have missed all these years without my grandchild. I’ll never have those years back again. I’m giving up.
Nobody said it was fair. Nobody said it would be easy. And it’s not fair and it’s not easy. Frustration builds, anger builds, resentment builds, aloneness, emptiness, hopelessness … it builds and builds and builds until you want to scream.
So go ahead.
The lady – I’m going to call her Anne – who wrote the letter emailed me afterward that she felt better.
She’s not alone. How many caregivers need, every now and then, to do what Anne did – let it out? And how many of you think you’re in this on your own?
Do what Anne did. Go to www.oldfriendsendlesslove.com, find this blog and, in the Comment section at the end of it … let it out. Let Anne know she is not alone in her occasional thoughts of giving up. If enough of you do it, you’ll find you’re not alone and you’ll find yourself in good company.
But you won’t give up.
That’s not who Anne is.
That’s not who you are.
You are a spark of something greater than you. A spark that pulls you, like the moon pulls the tide, toward Alzheimer’s, cancer, Parkinson’s, toward all that threatens life. You are not superman or Wonder Woman. In the big picture – no – in the biggest picture, the truth is you are Love and, after all the venting is done, you simply cannot be something you are not.
So go ahead – walk away for a day, vent, let all the frustrations out. You’ve earned the right to do that and you’ll feel better.
But you won’t quit. It’s not who you are.
A rock is a rock.
Love is love.
You are you.