Jo Ellen: You mentioned all of the “other duties as assigned.” There’s so much additional work caregivers take on and logically they know they have to be the ones to do it. But emotionally, how did you handle that?
Erin: Haha. I didn’t. I was an emotional box of chocolates. No one knew what they were going to get from me at any given moment. There was no rhyme or reason and a person’s personal relationship to me had no bearing on my emotional responses. Once I cried on the phone to a telemarketer. The poor guy didn’t even get to tell me what he was selling. “How are you today, ma’am” was as far as he got and I burst into tears and words flooded into this stranger’s ear about cancer and surgery and medical insurance copayments I knew nothing about. I must say, it was one of the greatest kindnesses I ever experienced because he stayed there with me and listened. I have worked with therapists at each point of my caregiving journey. My caregiving experience spans over a decade, across three different states, with multiple medical centers, and each environment presented its own unique challenges. Having a third party to help support me really made a difference in how I cared for myself and how I managed to grow through the process. Each of the mini traumas we experience as a Caregiver takes root in us on a cellular level. Eventually they will add up. I certainly learned the importance of taking the pause whenever I could.
P.S. Spread the love – invite a friend to join the journey! www.ErinCopelan.com