On Wednesday evening I went out. I left home at 7 p.m and like a teenager going out on the razzle for the evening I felt an eager sense of anticipation. In a small hotel betwixt and between Honiton and Exeter I met up with 11 other carers to enjoy a drink and share stories. It felt a bit like an Al-anon meeting. I almost stood up to say "My name's Penelope and I care for a disabled and mentally depressed husband". We ranged through all ages from 30s to mid 60s. But all of us were women. Caring for a partner, husband, son or daughter. Many had far more traumatic situations to cope with than I. Suicide attempts. But they all felt that I had been coping for a long time as many of them had been carers for'only' 2 years.
It was good to share our experiences and to hear that so many of our PIGS [Person I Give love and Support to] carry on in the same way. How self centred and selfish they are. How they say one thing but frequently mean another. How much they dislike our going out to enjoy ourselves. The emotional pressure or emotional blackmail our PIGS use. Our own feelings of grief and loss. How sadness affects us. That Depression is contagious.
For 3 hours we talked. Sometimes seriously. But more often in a lighthearted way. We also were able to laugh. Many laughs.Laugh a lot. Shared laughter is the best thing in life.