I’ve been pretty absent recently dealing with a big chunk of burnout. Not diabetes burnout, but caregiver burnout. While I really have to do very little for mom, there are a lot of things that roll into the caregiver picture, at least for me.
- Always “on” – the monitors are always on. I’m always listening, the weekend is often not very restful and I’ve come to dread long holiday weekends.
- Uncertainty – I’m truly not sure where I’ll be living in the future and have no idea when such a change might occur.
- Fear – Let’s face it, I’m constantly worried.
- Anxiety – Will my burnout become apparent to mom, making her feel like a burden?
- Guilt – Lately, I sometimes find myself getting a little ticked about the situation and I shouldn’t.
- Stagnant – Life for me is pretty stagnated now. There are things I want to do that are just not realistic at the moment and some that I just don’t have the effing energy for.
- Isolation – I’m isolating myself more and more. Normally, this would be a sign of a depressive episode but I don’t feel depressed. I think it is just because I don’t have the energy.
- Space - There is no space that is truly “mine” where I can sit around in my rattiest shirt, crank up the music and truly be alone. I go to movies usually alone, out to eat usually alone, the store usually alone. These are the only times that I don’t feel directly responsible for or to someone else.
- Frustration - There just isn’t any practical solution to this problem given all the behind-the-scenes stuff I don’t share with you all.
- Sadness – I am sad that I am basically just ‘waiting’
If you’ve read along for a while, you may remember me describing my “Why Bother” attitude. It was something that I had developed to help cope with under-the-covers “knowledge” that I should have been dead by the time I got through college. Just why bother worrying about long-term plans, having dreams, exploring a passion if I’m going to die?
It occurred to me, awakening in the middle of the nite once again, that I should apply that Why Bother attitude to my current situation. I will always bother to take care of mom best I can, but can I stop giving a sh*t about the stresses listed above? Every one of those has some aspect of future happenings in it, can I apply my Why Bother worrying about the future to these?
Can I let them just roll off my back or at least lock them away so they are not a constant drain on my spirit? Just for a little while at least until I can hopefully get some strength back?
I hope so or what emerges at the end of this won’t very likeable. Tho, since I’ve never really liked myself anyway, I guess I could take some comfort in that familiar space.
© 2013 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and http://StrangelyDiabetic.com