Unitl very recently and what seemed a very long time I felt stuck and unhappy about how my life has turned out. How come I was where I was, how did I get here and how come I let this all happen. All I was doing was watching my life go by. I was frustrated, depressed and very sorry for myself and then all changed. One day I realised I was spening too much time on everything else but taking care of myself and my life. Even though I was a caregiver to somebody else I still needed to take care of myself first. Once I started “putting myself first” my journey with caregiving has changed into lessons. Now all I needed to do was to work through them, learn and move on. And yes the hard times are when we learn as this is when we search for answers…
I was thinking today about how hard caregiving is and how difficult the challenges can be. I am always trying to find ways to help caregivers care for themselves because I know first hand how debilitating the duty of caregiving can become. It’s not for the faint of heart. It takes bravery, courage, and fortitude.
The remarkable thing about the journey of caregiving is that it can also be the most rewarding thing you will ever do in your life. I had such an extraordinary experience of caring for my parents. It was never easy but completely changed my relationship with both of them. We healed all our differences and we brought out the best in each other. I have such a sense of peace and gratitude about the journey we had together. I wouldn’t trade one minute of it for anything in the world other than a day or two of having them back. It really was the greatest thing I ever did.
I think one of the reasons for this was that it made my life so much richer. The challenges I faced became my teachers. Someone how, luckily, it hit me that there was a lesson in each and every bump in the road. With self-awareness and attention to my parents and my relationship with them, I slowly found new and amazing ways to cope with my life. I remember finally thinking that I could be miserable or I could have a wonderful journey and that it was my choice. I chose to have a wonderful journey.
Although the intensely painful challenges would at times bring me to my knees, I was armed with the ability to say: “oh well this was just another f$@#%*^ growth opportunity” which helped me walk away from the experience smarter, stronger and sometimes even grateful.
Continue reading There is No Growth in the Happy Place: How Challenges Help Us Grow on Caregiver Warrior.
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