When we are caring for someone who is critically ill or in a great deal of pain, it takes all of the emotional energy we can muster to keep ourselves and our care receiver afloat. The events going on in the outside world lose their significance, and it can feel like we’re living in a bubble.
That’s where I’ve been for the last several weeks. My husband’s back surgery yesterday was successful. The surgeon greeted us with a huge smile and said everything had gone as planned. To my surprise, when I woke up this morning, I felt physically exhausted and extremely emotional. I decided to take my own advice and follow the 3 steps of developing an Attitude of Creative Indifference toward my emotional stress.
1. Be AWARE of how I’m feeling
2. ACCEPT that this has been an incredibly stressful time
3. Take ACTION
The first two steps were easy. The third step took some thinking, but here’s what I’ve come up with:
I will give thanks for a good outcome
I will release my fears of what’s going to happen in the future
I will encourage Alex to do as much as he can for himself so he can regain his strength
I will take care of myself
If you are in a caregiving bubble right now, I hope you don’t have to stay there too long. When you do emerge from it, I hope you will be patient and cut yourself a little slack. Healing takes time – for the care receiver as well as the caregiver.