Saturday, August 27, 2011
I wandered into that Neverland space of taking better care of someone else than of myself. The end result was that I wasn't able to take really good care of my dear, who was relying on me; my own reserves were seriously, though not irrepairably, depleted.
Watching some of the professional caregivers who are leading the charge in this battle provided awesome information and a wonderful example--I did exactly what I didn't see them doing: Gave up watching my own diet; skipped the gym and daily exercise beyond walking my dogs; decided meditation was optional; stopped journaling; loaded up on sugar and coffee; let sleep become a catch-as-catch-can part of my over-all schedule. In a few words, I was slowly committing suicide.
If I've paid a price in the visible realm (I have!) then obviously, too, I have paid a less-visible price as well. Whether it is avoidable/dumb to do as I did is immaterial--I learned that all the literature and guidance available won't prevent Caregiver Crash-n-Burn if self-care doesn't remain Priority One. Taking care of ourselves is not selfish--it is critically important!