Self-Worth to a caregiver.

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When a caregiver is worn down over the years of sacrificed care giving and, in retrospect, berated/demeaned by family members and/or the person they are caring for, this takes a toll on the caregiver's self worth... As a matter of face, ironically, the care giver often feels guilt of not doing enough!... How do you ever go back to the happy person you once were and YOU forgot?... How do you ever 'recover' from all the 'damage' to your self WORTH?... (It's easy for people or counselors to say you have to WORK on your self, but when the damage is done to your heart, how does one really recover?)


I hear YA sister! I have no self-worth. I see a therapist who tells me, "you are worth caring about." But I feel all used up, and I am only 45. I would love to wake up in the morning and have a good thought in my mind, or be looking forward to the day as I used to. I struggle with depression on a daily basis, and some days I lose the battle, but not the war! One step at a time, some days, it's one minute at a time. You do get so tired of feeling like your best is not good enough, and that you are not important. I think one can recover, are forever changed. You are never going to be the same as you once were.
On the plus side of things -- though my self worth may be suffering, the value of caring people has soared in my mind. There are some people in the world who are fair weather friends and family members. There are other people who will be there for you and make you feel better. This doesn't mean they have to help. It just means they are your friends. Friends make us feel better about ourselves.
Those Doomsday preppers got nothin' on us kiddo. We are already working in the trenches. When they are screaming and running in circles, for us it will be just another day at the beach.
Losing my self-worth is not something I ever believed could happen ... but guess what, after all the years of caregiving ... it has. If I survive long enough for it to be over, I don't know if I'll ever be the same. Apart from feeling like it was never good enough and the guilt that comes from the feelings I have never in my life experienced, my own age and tiredness leads me to believe that the other person who I once was has been sucked out and just no longer exists.

I hope that if this is ever over, that somehow I'll be stronger spiritually, that I will be able to encourage and support others who are going through the dark times. But some days I'm not even sure if there will be enough of me left for that.

I think I've already had about 3 nervous breakdowns but I'm not sure ... haven't been able to take my eyes off the road long enough to know if I've really had a blowout. (heehee)
for me, reading about other peoples battles with caregiving on here remind me of how difficult it was at times . until a couple of days ago i would have said that " doing your best " is a copout but im beginning to see that doing your best may be a real thing. you indeed may have done your best considering the difficult and everchanging situation , the lack of formal training and even our own level of maturity. the heck with guilt. anyone who hasnt walked the walk can keep their yap shut.
You can rebuild it bit by bit. Start with one part of your body that you like. Your fingernails or a nice toe or the one patch of skin that doesn't have freckles or acne scars.

Continue with a skill or function that still works. I'm extremely nearsighted, but boy, can I see tiny things up close. Can you digest rich food easily? Touch your toes? Tell exactly what Dad had for dinner last night while changing his Depends? Name every actress on Golden Girls?

Think of a good deed you did in the past that was APPRECIATED by someone. Remember someone who thought you were really funny. Think of something positive about yourself, no matter how small. Day by day, add a new thing to your list of why you are worthwhile. It starts out being mechanical and half-hearted. If you keep at it, you will start to believe it!

It's only part of the answer, but it can help.

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