Caregiver guilt seems to be part of the territory. I have yet to meet a caregiver who did not express feeling some amount of guilt.
“I should have noticed what was happening sooner”
“ And I wish I could do more”
“Mom really wants to live with us. I feel guilty telling her no. But it just won’t work. Our house is too small.”
“But I have to take my son to the dentist today and I can’t get by to see Mom. I feel bad because I know she is lonely.”
“I should have done more”
“Why didn’t I….???.”
“Sometimes I am just tired of caregiving and I wish Mom would just pass away in her sleep. Then I feel horrible for thinking such a thing!”
The Caregiver Guilt List Can Go On and On.
Caregiver guilt is a strong force. No matter what you do, you probably feel like you should be doing more. But the truth is guilt serves no one. It does not help your loved one and it certainly does not help you. Here are some tips to help you let go of some of your caregiver guilt.
Join a Caregiver Support Group
Often, we suffer from guilt because we think we are the only ones who are dealing with these problems. Once you join a group your eyes will open. And you will realize that others are experiencing a lot of the same feelings you are experiencing. Caregiver guilt is a common symptom of this job.
Furthermore, a support group will be made up of people at all stages of caregiving. There is a good chance that someone in your group has struggled with a similar situation as you are now dealing with. As such, they can help. Through their experience, they can point you in the right direction. And the great news is there is no judgment in these groups. All feelings are valid. And most caregivers have experienced everything from sadness to rage.
Start a Journal or Blog
For many people the art of writing is healing. It can help us to make sense of what is happening. Furthermore, through journaling, you will be able to process your emotions. Your journal can be private or you can share it with the world through a blog.
A number of caregivers have brought their unique stories and challenges to life with a blog. And what they often found is that there are a lot more people than they ever imagined who have the same challenges and issues. The readers are often comforted by the blogger’s words.
In some instances, the blog has become a mission and maybe even a business. But when that happens it is never because the intention was to build a business. The true intention was to facilitate their own healing and to help others on a similar journey. And by releasing their caregiver guilt into written words they do just that.
Get the Help You Need- And Yes! You Are Worth It!
Caregivers often put a lot of pressure on themselves. They feel bound to a sense of duty and doing what they consider right. And this is often not what serves them or the one they care for. Caregiver guilt can cause you to become stuck in a valley of should’s, would haves and could of’s.
“My husband and I have a contract. Til death do you part! And for better or for worse. It is my responsibility to care for him until the end. I love him.”
Sound Familiar? This Is Caregiver Guilt Speaking
But where in your contract did it say that you have to do all of the heavy work by yourself all of the time? Caring for someone does not mean that you do everything. It means that you provide the best care for the one you love.
- If you are worn out physically and mentally are you providing the best care?
- And if you are feeling frustrated, sad or depressed are you supplying the best care for the one you love?
- Furthermore, if you are feeling anxious and stressed are you providing the best care possible?
Doesn’t the one you love deserve better? I wonder if the one you love would like to have their spouse back? The one who laughs and smiles. The one who sits down to enjoy a meal together with them. Not the caretaker who if trying to hold it together and do everything by themselves.
Letting Go of How It Was Supposed to Be
When you can finally let go of how you thought it was supposed to be you will begin to find peace. Oh, there will probably still be some guilt creeping in from time to time. But if you choose to get the help you need and you have support from others on a similar path the journey will be easier. And you will be able to release most of the caregiver guilt you have been carrying around.
Explore the different care options and possibilities available. Come for a tour a Sycamore Creek Ranch Memory Care to see how we can make a difference. 832.791.1577