So here’s what I can’t get past. Sean competed at a national level as a tandem cyclist. He raced against men who have held national and world titles. He rode for two weeks last summer, but has only been seriously training since December. INCREDIBLE!!
But. . . he gets stuck. “I wasn’t good enough.” It’s disappointing to see him so down after an experience that should have left him feeling very proud of himself.
A year ago, he would not have done this. I had to insist he go on the trips he took last year and stand with him during check-in to make sure he got on the plane. Two years ago, unheard of! Sean did not do anything without me, and had full blown panic attacks even then. Two years ago, he was barely off the couch or out of bed.
Sean has been spending a lot of time at the VFW. He and another member are doing maintenance around the building. He is also part of a committee to hire new bartenders and a manager. He has worked diligently on job descriptions and interview questions. I am so proud I could burst my buttons! Sean is happy to be there, but frustrated that he doesn’t work as quickly as he used to.
Still I’m a little jealous that he has new adventures while I’m wondering if my life will ever feel like my own. Is it weird that I’m jealous?
We are back in therapy and it’s going to be a long road. This last trip Sean was extremely agitated with the doctor and was mad at her all the way home. The trip wore me out. We spent three hours on the way there processing his camp experience and trying to help him feel positive about it. Then we spent an hour in therapy where Sean was angry and stubborn and resistant to everything she had to say. Then another three hours in the car with me helping him process everything the doctor said. . . and Sean cannot be wrong. His brain gets stuck on the only point of view he sees–his.
I apologize for dragging you through my depths. I’ve been in the snake pit lately. I suffer from depression and anxiety and these last few months have been extraordinarily difficult for me. My anxiety attacks are coming more frequently and at times when I’m not feeling excess stress. I blame facing my feelings. Seriously, I have always done better when I repress. Once I open that floodgate, all hell breaks loose.
I found this article on WebMD and damned if I don’t meet almost every sign of caregiver burnout.
Tips for Coping with Caregiver Stress
I need new attitude and outlook. “Who cares? I’m just happy to be here!”
I have always been good at rolling with the punches (after a preliminary rant) as things come up and it has served me well as something is always coming up.
I have faith that we will come out on other side, but what will it look like? And why do I need to know?