Caring for yourself as a carer

What do you do to care for yourself, and manage your own emotions? What helps you feel calm during stressful or difficult times? Where have you found good support?

I have previously been in the role as carer and I think it is the most difficult, silent role, at the time I did not know there was any support for a carer. It was as if I was the lucky well one, but I had all the anxiety, fear of going through the patients journey and also the stress because everything was my responsibility to sort out silently so I did not worry the patient. I did not have extended family for support and friends always asked about the patient not me. Occasionally someone would say that I was coping well and I wanted to cry out ‘but I am not, I am tired, scared and fearful and really struggling’ and burst into tears, but no, I kept up the coper and carer role. I think one of my lowest point was on my birthday and a friend came round clutching a box of chocolates and I said ‘Oh, thank you so much, that’s lovely of you’ and then they said the chocolates were all they could think of bringing for the patient. So the answer is I swallowed my emotions, which I do so well, put a smile on my face and was determined to show I was the most loving, dutiful, capable carer in the world.
Today I would calm myself by making time for myself be it a long bubbly bath, have my music on when I was on my own, watch what I want on my laptop with headphones on, have a coffee with friends when I could and share how I really was and my anxious thoughts and feelings. My good friends are my support, priceless. Oh, and give my teddy bear a great big hug sometimes. A support line like Bloodwises would have been so helpful, sometimes I need someone who understands. but is not someone who knows me.

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You are such a strong individual. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to a proper bath tub, so I will have to stick to a shower.

What kind of music do you listen to @Erica?

Hi Joshua
I am really sorry you do not have access to a proper bath tub, but I agree a nice hot shower does a good job easing tension and calming me down, but I find a shower more difficult to clean. I am very eclectic in my music anything from the 60’s to today, romantics to heavy metal, probably more the formers. Females would be Eva Cassidy, Roberta Flack, Karen Carpenter, Bonnie Tyler. Males would be Freddie Mercury, Lionel Richie, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton. Groups would be Queen, Carpenters, Fleetwood Mac, Hot Chocolate. Musicality would be Elvis. I shall stop now as you can tell I get carried away on my specialist subject. I love reading as well either books or Kindle, I am in to murders at the moment.
By the way your small network of friends has suddenly expanded now you are a part of the Bloodwise family!!

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Hello @Erica,

Your tastes in music are quite interesting. Are you interested in crime novels? We may have other fans in the forum.

@Erica what other hobbies are you interested in that keeps you calm?

Yea, I am glad the bloodwise family as welcomed me with open arms.

Hi Josh, with my music tastes I might not be keen on some music my favourite artist produce which is the same as I feel about art or authors. My music and reading are mostly what calms me down although I often watch USA crime dramas on 5USA at 9pm and I have got hooked on the Walter Presents crime dramas, mostly Scandinavian, with sub titles. Oh, and The Bridge. Author wise I also like Jodi Picoult and Anita Shreve, each of their books is different, extremely well researched and about relationships. Jodi Picoult wrote the book My Sisters Keeper about the child that was conceived basically to produce a bone marrow match for her elder sister who had Leukaemia. They made a film of the book, but I thought it was not nearly as good as the book. After our posts yesterday I slept well but throughout the night I kept on singing in my head Mike and the Mechanics hit ‘The Living Years’, they won an award for the words of the song, another of my favourite songs.
I am rambling again, Take care and keep reading.

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I know a lot of people shun social media but Facebook was my lifeline when Roger was in hospital, my friends used to wait for the daily updates. They were there for me offering support esp as I couldnt sleep and was up most of the night. I remember once, I was shattered and fell asleep when I got home, and around 2am one of my friends rung me to say she was worried as I hadn’t been on and hoped she didn’t mind her ringing me. I came off the phone and cried and said people do care. I tried not to put too much worry on my family. But will say it is important to get and have that support x

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@pollypolo Yes, good, caring friends are priceless and Facebook can also be really useful for keeping in contact. Take care.

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Hello @pollypolo,

social media is such a lifeline and it keeps us all connected with friends and family and its so lovely your friend called you to see if you are okay. How is Roger doing now?

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Hi Joshua
I sadly lost him 4 years ago after he battled against AML for 12 months, and again social media have been my comfort and life line esp as I up alot during the night due to my own health, and there are a select few of us that chat x


I hope you will find this site supportive, I do and please keep posting.

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I am so sorry for your loss and I cannot imagine what you must have been going through during that difficult time, but I am pleased social media and other support lines have helped you during nights due to your own health. Please feel free to use the forum as another social tool to connect with one on another. You mentioned a little about using social media during the night due to your health. How did you manage that and how did it make you feel to have that way to connect with others?

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thank you so much for being part of the forum.

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