Saturday, August 4, 2012

Caregiver Corner: No Control

There are a LOT of things in this world I can’t control.  You know, like the weather, my daughter’s hair, what people think, or worse, say.  And I’m okay with that.  What really irks me is when I can’t control my own life.  Caring for a wounded veteran whether his or her wounds are physical or mental can be VERY demanding.  Finding time for yourself is difficult.  Now, throw in an over active toddler who is super ambitious and has no fear, and personal time is pretty much non-existent.  I love my husband and daughter, don’t get me wrong, but some days I feel like I have no control over my own life. 

For example, sometimes I find myself thinking, “God, I can’t even poop on my own time!”  (And some days that’s the truth).  I’ve got to be ready at a moment’s notice to go out or do something, even if I’ve had other plans for the day such as homework or, you know, showering.  Showering is probably one of my most difficult challenges, either it doesn’t happen, can only be done while the toddler is napping, or if the hubs is feeling well enough I can take a shower while he watches our daughter and I have to stick to washing my hair and “the danger zones” as quickly as possible. 

Often, a lot of my plans fall to the wayside.  We usually only have a small window of time where my husband is A) conscious or B) feeling physically well enough to do something.  If “A” and “B” aren’t met, plans and even necessities get put off till another day…or sometime in the future (like bra shopping.  I’m still wearing last year’s model of nursing bras and the kiddo has been done with that for a while).  A day here or there, doesn’t really ruin my mood.  But when it happens consistently, is when I start getting really irritable (or if I REALLY need to pee and I can’t just yet).

From an outsider’s perspective, it probably looks like I hate what I do or that I’m my husband’s slave (it’s been said!).  I’m really just upset with the circumstances.  I take pride that I take care of my husband and daughter so well.  But it’s hard feeling like you always come last (even if it’s not true, bad days can make you feel that way).  The thing I try to remember is that it’s normal to feel this way.  It’s normal to get upset when your every move is dictated by an outside source (appointments, nap times, pain, etc.).  So, when I’m feeling like I’m in last place or have to forgo a shower because my husband wants to go grocery shopping for snacks, I try to find a positive.  Telling myself, “Well, at least we get to get out of the house” or “This really makes them happy” seems to kick the nasty negative feelings caused by a lack of control in the butt.

When things aren’t on run on your time, what positives can you find that chase away the feelings of coming last or having no control over your life?

Submitted by Honest H

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