I’m tired. No I’m more than tired. I’m exhausted. I’m depleted. No amount of self care (bubble baths, walks, therapy, lunch with friends, reading a book, etc.) is going to “fill my cup” and bring me back to where I need to be.
I’m not alone. Many people are. Those who are caring for individuals with disabilities or aging parents are in the same place I find myself in. No one situation is the same. And no one situation is worse than another. But the fact that we are even in this place is a result of years of policies by governments that have attacked the most vulnerable in our society. And as a result those who look after them are now suffering.
December 3 was International Day of Persons with Disabilities. I watched politicians post message after message about their commitment to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. From where I’m sitting, the only commitment I see is to continue to attack the social systems that “support” (and it isn’t even close to being enough anyway) people with disabilities and the people that care or support them. Yes, some people with disabilities are leading productive lives and have successful and full lives. Many after years of struggle. Some caregivers are managing. But not all. And I see far more struggling than succeeding.
Caregivers are worn out and exhausted. Now I’m only speaking here about my experience as a caregiver and from my perspective. But so many people are at the point of utter and complete despair and exhaustion because there is little help.
Years of advocating for services and supports has worn many down. And advocating is the nice word. What caregivers do is “fight.” It is not the occasional advocating or “fight”, it is constant, day in and day out, year after year, pleas to get services and supports. We are labeled as the “crazy” parent. (Read more…)