Friday, 1 May 2009

Carers' Support Each Other

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.


rosiero said...

I am glad you have found this outlet. I am still coming to grips with Al-anon and don't entirely understand its ethos or find my case fits exactly, but it is great to talk to people who have similar experiences and do not judge you. Someone you can have a laugh with or compare stories. I hope this helps you and that you might be able to meet them regularly.

DogLover said...

Like Rosiero, I have found great support and wisdom in Al-Anon. Just to meet other people who have been through, or are still going through, the same problems is a comfort. And it's not all doom and gloom, there's a lot of laughter, just as I am pleased to find you have experienced in your similar group, CC.

Anonymous said...

It's good to have support from people who understand what you are going through.
The term PIGS made me smile! So apt in some ways!


Merlin's Wizard said...

support is so important.

Take Care
Merlins Wizard

ladythinker said...

Thank you all for your comments.