I am a 37 year old mother of 5 girls, a carer to my husband who has PTSD and my aging parents who both along with other aging medical conditions suffer with depression and we all live under 1 roof! I am also at university studying a bachelor of business part-time maintaining a distinction grade average.
On a day to day basis, I deal with my ex and his partner, my husbands ex and her partner and the calendar events of our 8 yours mine and ours children as well as medical appointments and the normal day to day of caring for others. You could say my life is hectic, and true other people seem to always comment on how busy I must be, and how hard it must be. I do not see it that way, truth be told it is my blessing and my curse.
It is my blessing because I can give back to my parents for all the time they have given to me, I can watch them live out the rest of their years in the comfort of our family home surrounded each day by their grand children, while being cared for by someone who loves them and who is willing to make their golden years, well, golden.
However it is also my curse, because there I pretty much have to make an appointment with myself to get sick or to take a day off. Truthfully sometimes I feel very overwhelmed and resentful. I realize that I have put myself in this situation, I also realize that circumstances have compounded my situation, and I understand that I could give up uni, and place my parents in care, and that it would be easy.
But I cant do that. I love giving able to give back, my family is everything to me.
What I did not appreciate was the local mental health team who told me I was depressed (without talking to me), that i needed to go on medication and that docs would have to come and assess the situation as no one is capable of doing what I do. I manage, at times it is more difficult than others, some weeks are a breeze, and others well not so good, but we all have times like that. That is called life!
I understand that as a carer depression can be a real issue, however, I have yet to find a service that will help me in my unique situation to prevent the from happening. So without that safety net, I still manage on my own. I take each day as it comes, and I utilize the tools that I do have and can access to keep me in the best mental shape I can. That is one of the reasons that I went back to uni, to give me something totally outside my day to day roles to do, to keep my mind active, and to socailise in circles outside of my daily routine - also the fact that the internet and computers have made uni available to me at home!
After I separated from my first husband I had major depression, like all divorces it was not pleasant, we required a police presence just to be in the same room. I sought help, I learnt to recognize when things were starting to go south, and I learnt to get help as soon as I could, this brings me back to the local mental health team who decided that I just needed to be medicated again and everything would be hunky dory.
Well, I refused the medication, they called docs (docs saw no problems, our house is clean, everyone is well fed and everything is properly maintained and in order).
I took the family on a cruise, where we could all have a holiday in the same place so I could keep an eye on everyone, but we could be separate at the same time! And it worked a treat! I got the time i needed to recharge and recuperate, and my family was all taken care of.
The choice to take
on my family members in the caring role was an easy one, I am a trained
personal carer, and at work I was used to caring for 8 high dependent residents at one time, so it was easy to apply those principles to my home life. It was also easy to remove my emotions from my day to day caring role, by not taking things too much to heart and to not let daily challenges drag me down.