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Old 10-11-2011, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Ottawa Valley & Dunedin FL
1,409 posts, read 2,358,064 times
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You sound like someone who has been a caregiver for a long time.

My mother went through that--first it was my grandmother, who had a long decline with mum as main caregiver. Then it was my dad, who was ill for several years before his death. She then had to continue to bring up two kids (I was 16 when my dad died.)

She turned her life around after we left home. She sold the house, built herself a holiday home, travelled around the world, bought a trailer in Florida, had a wonderful time. She also had boyfriends.

Sounds like you need to do something for yourself for a change. And yes, you need a good physical exam and a discussion of your feelings with a doctor to make sure there's nothing organically wrong.
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,004,474 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wwanderer View Post
Sounds like you need to do something for yourself for a change. And yes, you need a good physical exam and a discussion of your feelings with a doctor to make sure there's nothing organically wrong.
If there's anything organically wrong, it could well be the stress causing it, rather than the other way around. There's clinical depression, and there's circumstantial depression. Many people with an overload of stress from other people are suffering circumstantial depression, understandably. Rather than medications, it's the circumstances that need to change; no meds can change those.
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:39 PM
 
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 10,873,672 times
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Thanks everyone - I am still going to have to be involved in some caregiving/managing - I am the only one who can do it . . .I think I just got depleted - I related to someone saying they wish they could sleep for a week - I even had the bizarre thought that I could understand why Michael Jackson was so desperate for sleep (don't worry - I don't take drugs and don't plan on starting, but I do understand the desire for peace and escape) . . .

I am just having a difficult time at the moment - "this too shall pass," as they say . . .
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,765,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brava4 View Post
I feel it is vital to anyone and everyone to find a place where you don't let all that crap get to you. For me, it is like "weeding the garden"... like not engaging with certain family members whom I know are toxic, realizing that you can't control bad news or good news and take it as it comes and let it roll off when you can't change any of it.

Some of it is a reprogamming of attitude and approach to life. Not always easy but eternally helpful and can be your salvation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
If there's anything organically wrong, it could well be the stress causing it, rather than the other way around. There's clinical depression, and there's circumstantial depression. Many people with an overload of stress from other people are suffering circumstantial depression, understandably. Rather than medications, it's the circumstances that need to change; no meds can change those.
The two posts above are right on the mark, but I just want to add one thought. In addition to getting out from under the negatives, it's important to actively seek out some positives. The OP should force herself to think of some things she wants to do, things that would give her pleasure and which she can look forward to.

I read aloud once a week for 30 minutes to a fifth grade class, and as corny as it sounds, I find myself really looking forward to it. I have chosen myself which books to read, with approval of the teacher, and they are worthwhile books such as Call of the Wild by Jack London, not "children's" books. While this may not interest the OP at all, I offer it as an example of a positive which can help overcome the negatives of any given week. I am also on an HOA board, and the squabbling there is a depressing negative. I am grateful for the positives such as the volunteer reading (and there are others). The OP's "positives" may be totally different from mine, but I think it's vitally important to create and implement some.
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:09 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,524,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
Thanks everyone - I am still going to have to be involved in some caregiving/managing - I am the only one who can do it . . .I think I just got depleted - I related to someone saying they wish they could sleep for a week - I even had the bizarre thought that I could understand why Michael Jackson was so desperate for sleep (don't worry - I don't take drugs and don't plan on starting, but I do understand the desire for peace and escape) . . .

I am just having a difficult time at the moment - "this too shall pass," as they say . . .
I hope, for your sake, it not just passes but does so very soon.

For much of my working life I was "driven" and a typical, Type A workaholic. Add five children, a very high stress job (law enforcement) and parents who died within a year of one another, and lingeringly so, and I finally hit a wall in my late 40s. Life became too much and I foundered for awhile - sleepless, depressed and rather dysfunctional.

This unlovely period of my life was followed soon after by my wife of 25 years leaving, having found someone else she thought better suited her. It was a grand awakening. I mentally cast off and rejected many of the pressures that had, in reality, been self-imposed, slowed down, breathed deeply and for perhaps the first time in my life, actually relaxed. That approach has stayed with me ever since. I've said many times that my life, real life, actually began at 50.

The above is my round-about way of saying that we can often be our own worse enemy and we can change that. We owe it to ourselves to live our own life on our own terms, not someone else's on theirs. To do the latter is to deny ourselves the peace and joy I think almost everyone can find and to set ourselves up for the crash-and-burn that makes us less than useful to ourselves and others or at least less competent than we can be if our lives and emotions are in balance and sustainable. I have to wonder if you're not at that point now.

There is truth to the recommendation to "stop and smell then roses." I hope you can find within yourself the ability and will to take that to heart. For me, it has never been a matter of not concerning myself with and for others. It has merely been a matter of doing so for myself as well. The two don't have to be incompatible.
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:41 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,004,474 times
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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
There is truth to the recommendation to "stop and smell then roses." I hope you can find within yourself the ability and will to take that to heart. For me, it has never been a matter of not concerning myself with and for others. It has merely been a matter of doing so for myself as well. The two don't have to be incompatible.
While your post has many good points, I think it's very hard to destress when you're in an overloaded situation worrying about people who need your help, even by stopping and smelling the roses. You can enjoy a moment or two here and there, but if you have a heavy burden (or two or three), even if you pray, meditate, take a moment, etc. the burden tends to sit on your shoulder and weigh you down and tire you out. I think that is what the OP is saying, that there is the usual stress and then there is stress. IMO, life situations cause stress and stress causes illness, no matter how well you take care of yourself in other ways. A sea change has to happen to be willing to unload the burden(s) for good, and this is easier said than done. One thing for sure is that you need a very close support system of some kind--counselor, friends, etc. to maintain the courage to change a terrible situation.
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:44 AM
 
5,825 posts, read 13,333,801 times
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My suggestion is to focus on the positive. If you can't find some positive in your life, go out and discover what really makes you happy. Do something for you, and put yourself first. Don't enable others to bring you down.
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:51 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,524,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
While your post has many good points, I think it's very hard to destress when you're in an overloaded situation worrying about people who need your help, even by stopping and smelling the roses. You can enjoy a moment or two here and there, but if you have a heavy burden (or two or three), even if you pray, meditate, take a moment, etc. the burden tends to sit on your shoulder and weigh you down and tire you out. I think that is what the OP is saying, that there is the usual stress and then there is stress. IMO, life situations cause stress and stress causes illness, no matter how well you take care of yourself in other ways. A sea change has to happen to be willing to unload the burden(s) for good, and this is easier said than done. One thing for sure is that you need a very close support system of some kind--counselor, friends, etc. to maintain the courage to change a terrible situation.
Perhaps it's just force of will but any longer I refuse to let things get to me to that degree.

As for the sea change, yes it does and yes it is but for me, at least, it was doable.
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Toronto, Ottawa Valley & Dunedin FL
1,409 posts, read 2,358,064 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
Thanks everyone - I am still going to have to be involved in some caregiving/managing - I am the only one who can do it . . .I think I just got depleted - I related to someone saying they wish they could sleep for a week -
Perhaps there is some kind of "respite" program near you? I don't know how this works in the States. This is a program designed to give caregivers a day, or a few days of rest by providing care services to the ill person. Even a day at the spa once in a while might help.
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:31 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,524,402 times
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Originally Posted by Wwanderer View Post
Perhaps there is some kind of "respite" program near you? I don't know how this works in the States. This is a program designed to give caregivers a day, or a few days of rest by providing care services to the ill person. Even a day at the spa once in a while might help.
Respite here in the colonies can work well but as with all social services in this economy, the opportunities are fading. One of our next door neighbors is receiving hospice services at home and his wife is at the edge. Their provider network, just a couple of days ago, transported him to a respite facility to give his wife a five-day break to "regroup." Unfortunately, not everyone who could benefit from them is so fortunate as to have such services available to them.
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