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Forums / Staying well / What "family" is all about when unwell

Topic: What "family" is all about when unwell

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    9216 posts
    11 June 2019

    Over several years here I've noticed a common theme with nearly all members posts. They have elements of guilt, sorrow, worthlessness, despair and confusion.

    I rarely if ever see spite, revenge, nastiness or anger.

    To me that equates to people desparate to find peace in life, are often the one harmed by others, cannot find solutions to their illness and are "lost" mentally feeling very much alone with their challenges.

    If this is you then you likely are putting other peoples needs above your own. You aren't well, you need care and consideration before you can perform your role to the maximum in your own family. Too often when family members know you have depression others think just taking your medication daily is the extent of what happens but thats ok with headaches, blood pressure and vitamin difficiency. Mental illness needs many extra changes from others and yourself.

    When unwell it is justified and necessary to turn your focus onto yourself. You, being considerate of others will find this strange but selfishness for a period has its advantages...it results in you recovering and that will enable you to revert back to your family and friends needs. Point out to others that this period of self focus is temporary even though it feels you'll never recover. You will.

    During your recovery guilty feelings will engulf you especially you incapacity to parent. This guilt needs to be offset by good feelings and it comes by way of expression - expression of kindness and appreciation.

    In the following thread some of this is covered

    Beyondblue Topic who cares for the carer?

    In that thread I make a suggestion that if you are bedridden with depression you can show appreciation in subtle ways. If you can attend the bathroom or get a drink from the fridge, you can make a cup of tea for your partner when they arrive home from work. At least try...endeavor is everything.

    That's one example of how kindness, the expression of it, doesnt have to disappear while ill. Family member as well need to know changes need to be made in their behavior, duties and expectations until your recovery is complete.

    Thats what family is all about.

    TonyWK

    2 people found this helpful
  2. Nurse Jenn
    Health professional
    • Health professional
    Nurse Jenn avatar
    436 posts
    13 June 2019 in reply to white knight

    Hi TonyWK,

    I really enjoyed reading this post and felt that your message really resonated with me. I actually just got up and made my partner a cup of tea after reading it. I have been in a fury of work and parenting and chores and worrying about all the little things like bills and appointments and health. But you are so right, that no matter what type of situation you are going through, no matter what level of illness, or worry or crisis, a simple act of kindness to family member can make a huge impact.

    Thank you for bringing me a mindful moment of kindness to my family. Typing these words will be a reminder of the importance of endeavouring to do this more regularly.

    Nurse Jenn

    1 person found this helpful
  3. blondguy
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blondguy avatar
    11220 posts
    14 June 2019 in reply to white knight

    Hi Tony

    another excellent thread and thankyou for taking the time to write it too

    You are spot on when you mentioned.....

    "if you are bedridden with depression you can show appreciation in subtle ways. If you can attend the bathroom or get a drink from the fridge, you can make a cup of tea for your partner when they arrive home from work. At least try...endeavor is everything"

    Its not a big ask for a person with anxiety/depression to show some appreciation by making a cuppa for their partner or friend that has been there for them.

    Like Nurse Jenn I have been snowed under with my own issues like Centerlink stopping payment to me recently....my beautiful Chow/German Shepard being mauled and I always make my friend...who has nasty rheumatoid arthritis some dinner and a cuppa as often as I can

    She has always been around for me when she can...Its the least I can do

    Good1 Tony

    Paul

    2 people found this helpful
  4. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    9216 posts
    14 June 2019 in reply to Nurse Jenn

    Thankyou Nurse Jenn and Blondeguy

    It's that little bit of extra effort that should and often is, appreciated by our family members and friends.

    TonyWK

  5. IreneM
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    IreneM avatar
    315 posts
    15 June 2019 in reply to white knight

    Great one Tony

    This topic reminds me of the new mindfulness skill called: "Activity Scheduling". It takes just that little bit of effort. But if you take your time to get up, and put the kettle on. That might all it takes for the carer to do the rest. It is all about TEAMWORK.

    My partner used to do everything, but once I realised that I needed to simply get moving to break that cycle of fatigue - I have made that extra effort and it is slowly paying off. Now we share the load more instead of him doing everything. I am less fatigued and now have more energy than before just from doing little things like:

    Putting the kettle on first thing in the morning (by being Polly my partner becomes Suky).

    Putting some washing on.

    Washing some dishes.

    Sweeping the floor or if the toilet gets dirty, brush the bowl.

    Taking a walk to the front to check the mail.

    NB: I take long breaks between all of these tasks.

    They may seem like big tasks but if you start with something small it can slowly build. Also known as incidental activity. Start with tasks around the home and gradually move outside, to include mail and rubbish, as your energy levels grow. It won't happen overnight but with consistency it gets easier.

    Irene.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    9216 posts
    15 June 2019 in reply to IreneM

    Hi Irene

    I like your "big breaks in between" system.

    I can relate to your husband. I love cooking. I'm also the handyman. I tend to do a lot of work so my wife stops me and will cook dinner on occasions and pamper me.

    I love that.

    Yep, teamwork works!

    TonyWK

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