It seems like the biggest topic for caregivers, when we’re not talking about whoever we’re providing care for, is not having time for ourselves. It’s not just an issue for caregivers of people who are ill or disabled, it’s an issue of anyone who provides regular care for other people, constantly putting the needs of others ahead of their own.
The problem with not having time for yourself is that, eventually, you don’t even know what that would be.
I knew I was at that point when someone asked me what I liked to do and the only things I could think of that I enjoyed were showering and eating. I couldn’t think of anything I did — or even wanted to do — that was just for me and not a biological necessity. Everything I used to enjoy was from a time that felt like so long ago I couldn’t relate to that past version of myself anymore. Would I still want to do it? Did I even care? Who knows.
Eventually it’s been so long that we don’t have a self anymore. I’ve forgotten who I am. I’m just my responsibilities to other people, a list of duties, not a person on my own anymore.