Why Be Miserable?

Caregiving for a loved one is so hard at times and brings so many challenges daily. At times it is almost impossible to see how and where to find the strength to carry on. But maybe, just maybe what we need is a small change in thinking and change in the approach to the whole situation.

So if you think this is a good idea, here is an article that can help you do just that. Change your perspective and maybe just maybe make the whole thing that little bit more bearable:

I distinctly remember driving on the Jersey Turnpike during my commute to my parent’s house, thinking how awful I felt. I was exhausted, scared, and frustrated. My 90-mile drive had become a time for reflection and review and that particular day I was at my wit’s end or so I thought. I felt boxed in, trapped in a life I didn’t want and didn’t know how to handle, worried about the health of my parents and what the future held and overwhelmed by my responsibilities as their caregiver. I was having a terrible conversation with myself. I was marching in the self-pity parade and felt miserable. I wanted a way out. I wanted to go back to my life before caregiving. I wanted to run away.

After going over and over stuff in my head, the reality of the situation hit me. I wasn’t going to quit; in my heart, I knew I wanted to care for them. But I had hit a wall. Where could I turn? How could I make this work? What did I need to do to feel better?

Suddenly I realized I could be miserable or I could have a journey. I knew what it was like to be miserable. I felt that way most of the time. Suppose I turned that around and began to see what this all had to teach me. By having a journey, I could look at the path my life was taking as a once in a lifetime experience and use it to get to know myself and my parents. I could sit on the bus with curiosity, take a ride and open my eyes to the scenery passing in front of me instead of crawling into a ball of misery going over and over how bad everything was. I could be miserable or I could have the journey of my life.

Right then and there I decided to have a journey and squeeze it for all it was worth. I had a basket of nuclear-sized lemons at my feet and damn it I would figure out how to make lemonade. My parents were not going to be with me forever and I had this extraordinary chance to heal and grow my relationship with them in a way I would never have imagined possible.

Making this commitment shifted something in my heart. The sky didn’t open and things didn’t change immediately. I was still exhausted, scared and frustrated. But I wasn’t bringing myself down onto my knees and then rolling around in self-pity, shame or self-criticism. I could be angry at God and still have faith…

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