I have hit rock bottom as the sole caregiver for my mother.


I have recently been on suicidal watch, and to my breaking point sinking back into deep dark depression. My loving mother has this alzheimer's and I don't want to live without my mother. It is hard for me to focus on finishing my doctorate program, teach at the college level and even life daily now.

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I need to say something to you but everything sounds so overdone. I go in and out of where you are. My Mom isn't yet diagnosed, but I fear the worst. I have bipolar depression and other issues, so it's already difficult. I'm so proud of you for calling the hotline and for reaching out in general. What I do when I don't want to wake up is to force myself to think of wonderful times or places that are unrelated to what is breaking my heart. It's challenging to do when you're in hell. It helps me. Love to you and your Mom. Remember, take care of you.

this was me a year ago...
I had to allow someone to live with me to keep myself from doing it.
My mom became my best friend and her care was literally killing me.
She is in a home now after all hell happened. Now she is happy. I am still healing, and one day you will too. ((Tight HUG)))

Think about what you can eliminate from your life, temporarily, to relieve the stress:

1. This term is either over or almost over. Take a sabbatical for the summer, and longer if necessary.

2. Approach your doctoral program the same way. Talk to your advisor and work out the details.

3. That leaves you free to provide caregiving for your mother. Think about that whole situation and what support you can get, hiring our managing some aspects rather than doing them yourself.

4. I think the grief aspect will be the hardest to address. Ask the Suicide Prevention Watch, or call United Way 211 to locate support groups in your area. Hospitals and funeral homes might also sponsor grief support groups.

5. If you've been on suicide watch, you may already be on some meds. If not, seriously consider that. They might be necessary to get you through this rough patch.

6. Figure out ways to integrate something pleasurable into your life, every single day, whether it's walking, hiking, just being outside, reading...something that is only positive and takes your mind off your concerns. Music and art therapy are good choices.

7. This almost seems trite in the context of what you're dealing with, but as Jessie writes, life is finite and ends for us at some time, so focus on what you can do for your mother to ease her last months and years. Even if she doesn't recognize you, remember that you're helping her in ways that probably no one else can, and let that encourage and console you.

I always remember what a Native American woman told me when my sister was dying. She said to focus not on the dying, which is a natural extension of life, but rather on making the best of the remaining time, making it as worthwhile as possible for both of us.

I wish you peace, and more than a little bit of luck, as you navigate this turbulent, emotional journey.

I've been where you are and when I look back on it now I have no idea how I survived but I did.

Have you seen a Dr. about the depression?

I remember when I was in grad school and completing my degree. It was such a stressful time and I was so afraid of all the things that I was facing. I imagine that going through this when your mother is dying is so traumatic. I wondered if you could put off completing your doctorate for a few months and concentrate on your mother and yourself. The degree is important, but not as important as your health. Talk to your major professor about what you are facing and see if you can put things on hold for a bit... but not too long. You don't want to have to start over again.

Most of us will lose our parents in our lifetimes. It is harder for some people than for others. But if you think about it, it isn't the end. She is crossing over and will wait for you on the other side. Is there anyone you can share your pain with? You have so much anticipatory grief right now. You really do need to share it with someone who understands what you're going through. Tell us a little more about your mother and who is treating her. Hospice programs often have grief counseling, as do many churches. Please talk to someone about the grief and depression you are feeling. Healing for bad feelings is out there for you. ((((Hugs))))

I am calling now.

Please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255. You need help to get through this. We care and we understand! And you are NOT alone - we will all have to go through this too.

I'm sure your mom wouldn't want you to give up your life for her. Please let us know you're OK...

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