My Wife Jill, wrote another note to a fellow caregiver…and she didn’t mince words…. Just reading this makes me proud of Jill!
Your question seems to be the most common question among caregivers. Disappointment and frustration mixed with fear and loss often creates an environment where all parties are stuck, unable to move forward. It is an awful place to be.
I have been my husband’s caregiver for 11 years (massive stroke at age 51). We are extremely blessed that he never even considered not recovering. Full disclosure: the first few years he was so disconnected from reality that he didn’t really know how bad off he was. It took years for him to understand his situation. The good thing was that we had been working so hard on recovery and had made such progress that when he did understand, he was motivated to keep improving. We regularly meet with survivors and caregivers and offer encouragement and perspective.
That all being said, I am an advocate for strength and goal setting. So here it goes:
There are moments in our lives where we have to look in the mirror and ask ourselves “Who am I really?” More importantly, “Who do I want to be?” Is quitting is better than trying? Is today going to be better than yesterday? Did I teach my kids to quit when things get hard? What are they going to see when they see me, now that things are hard? Is it all just about me or do I care how my actions affect others? Does Poor Me EVER end well?
How you and your husband answer these kinds of questions will help you chart your course foward. Recovery is a choice, a choice we have had to make every day. We decided together that life was still going to be good, and it is! It is different, but it is good. Hard, but worth the effort.
Our life changed dramatically in an instant, as has yours. I pray you will take this time together to decide what you new life is going to look like. We only live one day at a time so I encourage you to start with that perspective. Today we will accomplish _____________. Remember that you are in this together. Together, you can create a beautiful life worth living. Start Now!