Is Caregiving Just One Damn Thing After Another?

365 Messages of Hope, Humor & Heart for Caregivers – #1

caregiver-angerThe poet and playright, Edna St. Vincent Millay once said, “It’s not true that life is one damn thing after another. It’s actually one damn thing over and over!”

Most caregivers will agree that the physical aspect of caregiving is demanding, dreary, and sometimes downright disgusting. Even so, the physical strain pales in comparison to the emotional stress of caring for someone who is aging, chronically ill, disabled, or demented.

There are four emotions that most caregivers have to deal with over and over, and they are: Anger, Guilt, Depression, and Grief.

It may help to know that anger is a normal and predictable response to situations over which we have little or no control; and as a caregiver, the number of situations over which you have no control are practically limitless – starting with the progression of a disease and the behavior of other people.

The question is not whether you will get angry – because you will. The question is how you will choose to respond to it. For today, maybe you can just take a few deep breaths, accept the fact that Edna St. Vincent Millay’s statement about life may be especially appropriate for caregivers. Then cut yourself a little slack. Getting angry doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It means you’re human.

Do the best you can today, and take comfort in knowing that if you don’t do it exactly right, you’ll have an opportunity to do it over and do it better tomorrow and the next day, and the day after that.

For more information on coping with caregiver anger, please click on the link to these videos on our website: The 3 F’s of Flipping Out – Fatigue, Fear & Frustration