Author: Shannon Miller
By guest blogger Tammy Badida:
In my last couple of articles, I have tried to touch on some of the emotional effects of caretaking.
I don’t know what your situation is right now. Maybe you are taking care of an elderly parent, a sick child, or a terminally ill spouse. Plainly and simply, there is usually fear that comes with taking care of another person who is ill, no matter what the circumstances are. You often find yourself asking, “Am I doing this right? Am I doing enough?”
I would say next to guilt, fear was one of the most frequent emotions I felt during my husband’s illness. I’m sure you have a list of things that your fear stems from. As a caregiver to a terminally ill patient, I often found that my fear came from the “unknowns” and the “what-ifs” in regards to finances, my husband’s prognosis, the effect of it all on the kids, and the changes in day-to-day life. Fear is natural, but it can be severely limiting.
I think we can become afraid to the point that we are unable to enjoy the time we have with our loved ones. Looking back, there were moments I would let fear take over. I started to realize the value of dealing with my fear and uncertainties in a healthy way.
There’s an old saying that “having a good day is sometimes as easy as choosing to have one.” There’s such great truth in that when it comes to fear. Ask yourself the tough questions: Do you want to base your day on a diagnosis, a pain level, or a distant bill? Or do you want to choose to have a good day with your family and friends in spite of the circumstances?
Attack it from all sides: physically, mentally, and most importantly for me, spiritually. I found great peace in my prayers, and great laughter in some of the more offbeat “adventures” at the hospital or doctor’s office. Fear evaporates in the face of joy. Think about it…when was the last time you laughed and felt entirely afraid at the same time?
As caregivers, we will almost certainly face scary moments and realizations. If you find that these times truly are paralyzing you, I encourage you to seek out counseling in person and/or place where you are comfortable.
You will become a survivor in this as well!! You will find the confidence to do and ask things that you could not see yourself doing or asking before. You will hopefully start to realize that you are feeling that fear a lot less, and that you are able to take control of what once seemed like the uncontrollable.
Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow. ~Mary Anne Radmacher
Next Tuesday’s Topic: “Be Choosy”
Article by Tammy Badida