Q: How do I handle friends who are not supportive of my caregiving journey?
A: You've probably noticed how when you talk to some of your friends, who are not going through caregiving, how their eyes start to glaze over when you talk about your situation. Don't be offended--it seems to be universal. They want to be supportive, but they just can't for long periods of time, because they realize what you are describing is all ahead of them. For now, they aren't there yet, don't want to be, prefer denial--and it is just too unpleasant to listen to horror stories they can't fix. So, just limit your exposure to those people--and realize their caregiving days are probably coming too.
If I had to do it all again, I'd ask my top seven friends if they could handle calling me once a week, but on a specific day. That way, I'd know that the phone would ring at least once a day, instead of feeling alone without calls for days on end--and then seven calls in one day!
And if you're having a meltdown late at night and don't want to call and burden a friend, realize there are many online support groups, forums and chat rooms, where you can vent and vent and vent! Check out the forums here at Agingcare.com .
Writing about what you are going through will help tremendously to purge it out. Hey, the first draft of my book, Elder Rage, was 650 pages before I finished venting. So, even if it is 3:00 am, I guarantee there are frustrated wide-awake caregivers who are online and venting too. And, guess what? It's daylight on the other side of the globe--and I am pretty sure they have caregivers there too.