It's been a rather tiresome time over the last 3 weeks or so. My 60th birthday passed in a blur. I remember the cards, gifts and the tea party. Unfortunately I also remember the stress and anxiety. It has taken us about 2 weeks to regain our equilibrium again. MyMan suffered from socialising fall out syndrome.
Most of my friends at the party have also been unwell. When I do venture out to socialise most of the daily chat is about hospital or doctors appointments. Is this all life is about when one becomes 60? Or is it that as my home life so much revolves around MyMan's state of health I'm more conscious of my need for more light hearted social chat? Previously I've offered unlimited empathic listening but now I just don't don't have it in me. I feel permanently hassled, stressed, anxious and worried. I don't have room to be supportive to others. This isn't like me at all. All my working life has been involved in the health or caring services. But I now feel used up and burnt out. I no longer feel I know myself now. I'm different.
During the 1970/80's I spent 8 years as a Samaritan with the Gloucester Branch. I remember when I went for interview we were asked whether we had a family member who suffered from depression. There was one lady who was 'rejected' as she had a partner with depression and being a Samaritan would place far too heavy a demand on her. I can see their point now.
I think that had I known I was to end my later years being an unpaid carer I would have chosen a different career path. Caring as a career is stressful. I had looked forward to a stress free relaxed retirement. The only difference being that if I make a mistake as a caring spouse I only get nagged. Or, if I'm in a bad mood, we have an argument.
I don't have to keep report writing to 'cover my back' - just in case; sending copies of reports to all agencies involved, checking on Health and Safety at Work issues, solving staffing problems, counselling staff, ensuring staff are adequately trained and capable. I have no worry about falling down on the job and facing disciplinary action. No worry about ending up in court.
Not unless I murder MyMan.