The Life of A Carer

It’s no secret that Fiancé (and I) have mental health problems – depression, anxiety and various non-illegal (but still ‘dangerous’) addictions. For one year and nine months, we have been each other carers. Lately, as I’ve gotten better and he has relapsed (and then spurned forth in early recovery) the main ‘caring’ has fallen to me. Added to this is the fact that my mum is also acutely unwell (and refusing to recognise it) … well, I have a lot on plate.

The role is unofficial – I receive no money from centerlink, no respite. Everyday, I wage war against the diseases and the diagnosis and I try to help two of the people I love the most out of the dark depths. Some days are great – Fiancé and I play putt putt and laugh all evening; Mum and I go shopping and talk all day. Other days are not so good – Fiancé shuts down; Mum bursts into tears at the drop of a hat. And every day I’m there, in my own recovery and doing uni, just wishing, hoping and praying that they will get better. Not just so that my life would be a little easier, but so that they would be able to do what they really want to do.

Fiancé is, thankfully, having more good days than bad at the moment. He is taking control of his therapy, of his life. I love it. I love seeing him shine through the darkness that has consumed him for most of this year. Mum, I think, is getting worse. But I can’t do anymore to help her than I already am. I can’t force her into treatment that she doesn’t even recognise she needs.

I did not write this post for sympathy. I just wanted to share. Each day is a battle, and a balancing act. Helping the people I love, while taking care of myself. Sometimes, I wish I could save them, but in the end they have to save themselves.

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