Me & My Mental Health Series: Episode 4
Can you believe we are at episode 4 (the final episode) of the Me & My Mental Health Series? Wow!
I concluded episode 3 with a quote that is to usher us into this final episode, episode 4 and here it is, emphasis on the underlined words:
What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, more unashamed conversation about illnesses that affect not only individuals, but their families as well.Glenn Close
In this final episode, I write from the standpoint of a family to individuals who have been affected by illnesses. I am writing from the standpoint of a caregiver.
Caregiving often calls us to lean into love we didn’t know possible.Tia Walker
The journey for caregivers
I was a one time caregiver for my father before he passed away in 2020. I’m still a caregiver to another family member. I have always loved my father. Even in death, I still do. He was an extremely kind and gentleman who always chose to put others first before himself. I was in Junior Secondary School 3 when my father first fell ill. From that time till when he passed, we’ve been in and out of the hospital.
Managing an illness for about 14 years was really exhausting for us as a family, but the joy we always had every time we went in and out of the hospital was having everyone alive, and also being able to have plenty of belly hearty laughs because my parents are actually funny people😁.
The exhaustion that comes from nursing an ailment ranges from physical, to emotional, to spiritual and of course, financial. This is not only for the caregiver(s), because those suffering from these illness as well are equally exhausted.
How caregiving changes us
I remember I used to fight my father for doing some things he wasn’t supposed to do because of his health. Truly, it wasn’t easy for him to stick to a particular lifestyle. It took a long time to understand why he struggled to abide by the rules his doctors recommended. When I eventually understood how tough it was for him, because I engaged him in several conversations, I began to love him even more. We spent more time with him, indulged him on some days, and went back to our strict routines on other days. And oh, I began to have flashbacks of how my father cared for each of us his children, how he allowed us live in the moment and how he spent his last penny on us. Recalling these sacrifices drove me to tears and a greater love for him.
To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.Tia Walker
Caregiving makes you lean in more to love, helps you become a little more tolerable. It allows you to draw more from your well of kindness and continually extend grace. You may be fainting, yet you keep offering help, you keep giving your best to ensure your loved ones are doing okay. The smiles on their faces, and the whispers of well-done makes your being alive, and their steady improvement makes all the effort worth it. Caregiving does changes us.
No matter what you’ve done for yourself or for humanity, if you can’t look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?Lee Iacocca
The teaching never gets old; charity does begin at home.
Caregivers, take care of your mental health too.
Often times as caregivers, we lose ourselves in the service of others we care about. We try to hold them up to wholesomeness and some times, it’s at the detriment of our health. It’s not a bad thing, but who then takes care of the caregiver when s/he is fallen?
In the words of a great philosopher “It is only he who is well that can donate blood”
You have two hands. One to help yourself, and one to help others.Audrey Hepburn
Dear Caregiver, you are seen and you are loved. You matter too and all the effort would be worth it.
If you aren’t a caregiver just yet, you can offer kindness everywhere you go because you don’t know who’s under the weight.
Kindness can transform someone’s dark moment with a blaze of light. You’ll never know how much your caring matters. Make a difference for another today.Amy Leigh Mercree
The end of the mental health series🤗
Episode 4 ends the Me & My Mental Health Series we started in February. It’s been a journey for me, for us. I would like to thank you for coming on this journey with me. If you missed any of the episodes click on Episode 1, Episode 2, & Episode 3.
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