Letters from Madelyn – Chapter 10
In an article Dr. Susan Babble wrote for “Psychology Today,” she suggested that having one meaningful, connected conversation every day could be an effective strategy for coping with compassion fatigue.
I think anyone who is caring for a loved one needs a “caregiving buddy” with whom you can talk, laugh, and cry. This person needs to be someone who will listen without judging, criticizing, or telling you what you should or shouldn’t feel.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was my mother’s caregiving buddy. She wrote letters to me, and I called her on the phone. I told her everything that was happening in my life, and she was honest about everything that was happening in hers. I now know that telling her my stories and being genuinely interested in hearing hers, helped ease her isolation, loneliness, and the monotony of caring for my dad.
In this episode of “Letters from Madelyn,” my mother is struggling to cope with Dad’s decline and the approach of winter. She recognizes that she is depressed. At the same time, she’s happy about my wedding––even though she can’t begin to imagine why I would exchange my freedom for a husband.
If you don’t currently have a caregiving buddy, I hope you will look for one. Connecting with someone other than your care receiver on a regular basis can help relieve your stress by giving you a safe place to complain, cry, or laugh, and it can provide you with something new to think about other than what’s happening in your own life and home.
Click here to listen to Chapter 10 – “Elaine Gets Married”