Topic: How Do You Really Feel As A Caregiver?

The truth can be liberating. Truth has nothing to do with the love we have for our loved ones. Truth has everything to do with the job that a caregiver must manage. What truth does is acknowledge that one is human and subject to the feelings of burnout and a mental health meltdown.

On Tuesday, I was interviewed by a local and historic radio station. KCOH Houston-based KCOH TV The Boost was established in 1953. It is one of the oldest Radio stations in Texas. The topic was whether mental health does impact caregiving roles. One of the listeners mentioned she cared for her mother and loved every bit of the experience. The statement gave me pause. The statement, I understood very well, was the “loved every bit of it’ that got my attention. As most of you know, I took excellent care of my mother, along with my village. But I would not be telling the truth if I said ‘I loved every bit of it!’ Talking about the big lie…that would be it. There were events when mommy could no longer care for herself. I stepped in to manage the activities of daily and her business affairs. I did not love every minute of it.

In stating that real and raw fact of my reality, why did I not say out loud what I was really feeling? Well, I will tell you. The suggestion was I did not love my care recipient or the caregiving role. The perception was I signed up for the role of ‘the whatever’ and the love of caring for another should exceed the real feelings and emotions as a caregiver. Forget about self-care the mind says! These narratives, my friends, are the recipe for caregiver abuse and burnout; the beginning of a mental health meltdown. When you cannot be honest with yourself and how you are feeling in the caregiving space, it’s harmful to you. The words that came out of my interview with the host and producer of KCOH, are words that I am giving you permission to say, OUT LOUD, and know that they have nothing to do with the love we have for our loved ones. It has everything to do with getting your feelings and emotions out, so you can get back in the game.

Here goes…

Exhausted*Burnout*Resentful*Angry*Annoyed*Unhappy

Miserable*Fed up*Frustrated*Irritated*Mad*Alone

And…I can’t and don’t want to do this anymore.

The emotional and physical exhaustion of caregiving is real. Let’s give ourselves permission to acknowledge our mental health matters. As Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate, my desire is for you to be well as you navigate the world of caregiving. We are here, the village of caregiver advocates to lift you up when you feel down. Just reach out! Be safe! Be well!

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