Sometimes life is more "eh and bleh" than anything.
Busy with work, honestly busier than I want to be ...
Tired, no - exhausted - when I get off work, so I try to decompress and rest, especially that first day off.
And the days swirl into nights, which are endured until morning.
Not a lot of changes, or exciting adventures, to share these days.
Seems not even a lot of "new thoughts" to expound upon, either.
I don't like it.
I. don't. like. it.
Life is too short, too precious, and gone way too soon, to let these days and nights run together with little to nothing to write about.
Lord, move in my life and change it ... or move me, change me. Please, Lord. Please.
I've been doing some reading and researching into "caregiver burnout" ... and as much as I really do NOT want to write this, Yes, I think I have entered that all over again.
Hopefully, this time, I have recognized the signs and symptoms early enough to catch it, stop it, change it ... before it completely takes me under again.
It did that when I was Rick's sole caregiver. Sadly, even 6 years after he's gone, I still feel the effects of burnout ... and I think it has made it easier for this to start in on me all over again. Maybe I wasn't healed from that time with him, before I started this job in being a "professional caregiver". I don't know.
I do know that I don't want to go down this path again.
So, reading, researching, and praying A LOT - seeking a better way for me in all of this.
There are 7 indications of Caregiver Burnout :
1. Feelings of depression, anxiety, isolation.
Resulting in a deep sense of not being appreciated. Often leading to a difficulty in exercising and/or eating - where one either does/eats too much ... or not enough. Upset stomach, with gut issues developing, or increasing. Headaches. Back pain. Mood swings. An overwhelming sensation, where the simple every day things become too much.
Yes. I feel these words. Deeply. Strongly. Sadly.
2. Increased irritability and agitation.
Resulting in times of saying things you don't mean. Short temper, and long words. Lack of sleep, or too much sleep. Low blood sugar, brought on by poor nutrition. The belief that caregiving is controlling my life, rather than me controlling it. An anxiousness about the future, or a lack of concern/care.
Yes. I have found myself just in the last week or so being short on temper, and feeling that sudden urge to lash out at whoever is the closest.
Definite lack of sleep. When at work for the 48 - 84 hours straight, there is no comfortable place to lay down, and even if there was, it's a situation where in order to sleep, must keep one eye open, and one ear listening.
And just in the last 2 weeks I have thought, felt, and wrote in my journal, about how caregiving is controlling my life - not what I ever wanted to do again. But ... here I am.
3. Lack of energy.
The physical, emotional and mental demands leaves your brain feeling overworked, under-paid, and basically - "fried".
Resulting in an overwhelming fatigue. Where every movement seems to bring pain. Where even taking a deep breath seems to big of a chore to do.
Yes. Oh my word! Could this be any more ME right now? I don't think so!!!
4. Neglecting one's own needs.
Questions to ask: *Do I bathe regularly? *Do I drink enough water? *Do I eat nutritionally sound food? *How much junk food/fast food do I consume? *When was the last time I "unplugged" and just settled in the stillness and quietness of the moment?
Hard questions but ones that must be asked.
Too tired to take a shower and deal with my hair, too many times lately. Making me think about a very short hair cut. But keep talking myself out of it, because I have had short hair before and didn't like it.
Taking some time today to unplug. To enjoy the stillness and quietness.
Inability to fall asleep within 20 minutes of laying down. Inability to stay asleep for longer than 2 hours. Inability to fall back asleep after waking.
Yes. No other words to say, just a resounding YES.
6. Reliance on substances or stimulants to get you thru the day - whether working or off.
Ask yourself WHY are you drinking? Or smoking?
Yes ... if you count coffee!
But on this one - honestly?
I've counted on coffee for so long that I don't remember life before Coffee!
I do not smoke.
I do drink an occasional glass of wine, on my days off. Had a small glass of banana rum over this last weekend, while visiting with my kids and grandkids.
7. Losing interest in favorite activities.
How much time are you spending with family or friends? Whether in real life, or on the phone, with messages.
Hobbies that were once enjoyed have now been pushed aside.
Do you feel cynical about life? About the caregiving?
Are you resentful?
Yes. This makes my heart cry out! Please God, help me out of this burnout.
Been wondering if I am really ready to do this again.
Yes, it has been 6 years since Rick died ... but have I healed enough to do this?
Still praying for that answer.
All of these things can lead to an overwhelming sense of hopelessness.
And since in answering these honestly, I must answer "yes" - it's time to do something! I am important to me.
God, please, show me what to do, and teach me all the how's.
I don't want to be burned out.
I want to take better care of me.
Please, help me.
I am going to take some time this day, this weekend, to read, to pray, to search out my heart ... and hopefully with God's help, find a way out of this before it gets more of a hold on me.
Prayers would be appreciated.
So why "Scattered Feathers" ? ? ?
You can read it here