Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Time to Give Up the Fight

If you've never heard "Come In From the Cold" performed by George Benson or Marc Broussard click over to  after you read this and listen. It's a wonderful love song, and there's a line in it that deserves focus.

"Let's give up the fight."

The line is talking about resisting a relationship, an internal struggle.

Caregiving is full of internal struggles. In fact, most of the craziness in caregiving is caused by the internal struggles.

Most of us experience internal struggles on a constant basis. Some are small, "Should I have that second helping of mashed potatoes," while others are large, "Should I commit to a life-long relationship with someone who's an NC State fan?" (ooops, maybe that's just me...but, you get my meaning)

I believe the greatest internal struggle, the most difficult fight for many caregivers is standing face-to-face with the question, "Me or them?"

The caregivers might not pose the question as I did, but it comes down to whose welfare--life--is more important, the caregiver or the caree?

It's a brutally honest question so here's a brutally honest answer...The Caregiver's life is more important.

KEEP READING: This is the point at which some of you want to bail on me, but stick with me for a moment.

If you--the caregiver--don't take care of yourself you won't be able to take care of the caree. The reality of inflight instructions--put the mask on yourself first, then put it on your companions--is, as my grandmother used to say, the gospel.

So, give up the fight. Let yourself understand the C in CRAZY...Care...Care enough about yourself to understand that your welfare is most important, right now. Care enough to understand that as long as the caree is safe everything else is a bonus. Care enough to do whatever it takes to keep yourself away from the craziness.

Give up the fight.

Simply…take off the gloves, return to your corner, sit on the stool and take a breath, and ask, “Ok, what’s next?”

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