As a caregiver 7 days a week, (for years) I can tell you I wish I knew what exhaustion was, as that would be an upgrade for me. With that being said I am here to share a few things. We, as caregivers, do not always know what's best for us, we fall into depression, massive anxiety, extreme burnout, hopeless, intrusive thoughts, suicidal thoughts, Alcohol, doubt, trust issues, mental breakdown, and the story goes on. I haven't felt good about anything in years, and a few days ago I decided to buy a tablet (I won't endorse any product), and a tablet drawing pencil. I found out something new about myself, that I could draw. I have always been amazed at anyone who could create things from scratch when it comes to art, from comic books, to movies, to makeup artists and voice actors, song writers, etc. I never in my life for a second thought I could draw anything, I was always envious of those that could do what I couldn't in the art/creation areas. Having extreme burnout daily (for years) I had no hope what-so-ever.

My memory has been pretty bad lately so I'm really not sure what made me pick these up, maybe is was just my subconscious screaming out for something I was lacking. So every night for the past few days I allow myself time to draw, and you know what, my mind feels calmer, my memory feels a little better, I am opening up to people more instead of hiding away like I usually do. My racing thoughts and worries about every little thing has improved.

My question to you is this, and if your reading this you know how hard it is to even try to take care of the little things about yourselves, whether its eating, (sometimes I forget to eat for a day or two) or doing something that can actually benefit you so you can continue your service to your loved one. So my question to you is this, can you try to take a few minutes every day to ask yourself who you are, and become more self aware of not only who you are, but what you truly love to do for you and not anyone else, even if it's 5 minutes a day, and do not be hard on yourself or feel guilt at all about doing this.

Try to figure out how to see the light in a place that is completely dark. As I am typing this I already feel anxiety about posting this because I have a lot of self doubt and self worth issues as well. All I want is to try to pay back, to help, as I have received a lot of help from people myself. Try to do something that's good for you before your condition gets worse. I truly hope this post helps someone. Thanks for reading this. As a side note just to tell you how bad my memory has been it took me about 9 days to figure out what the word "trope" meant, I can heal wounds like necrotizing fasciitis but I couldn't even grasp the word "trope", and I have to laugh at that. Take care of yourselves and once again thanks for reading..

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Good for you! The only way I get through life is with my art. It is actually my profession. I am an exhibiting artist, professor, teaching painting, drawing, anatomy, color theory, and mostly how to see and feel about life. When I don't have time to paint or draw I get anxious, sad, scared, and feel just not myself. It is not an escape for me, as the work is a very seriously important communication. Taking care of my mom for 7 years, while teaching full time, made it really difficult to spend enough time in the studio. I thought I was going to die. Now, after finding a wonderful assisted living home for her, I am in the studio more and I am myself again, healthier, happier, with a sense of purpose. Keep drawing!
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Oh, I laughed out loud at the trope thing. I said to my husband "What's this trope" thing, and now I hear the word everywhere. Always thought I was reasonably intelligent, but it did make me wonder. The word is everywhere.
When my bro first got ill (probable early onset Lewy's Body Dementia) I honestly thought I would never be happy again. While I don't care for him I do the POA/Trustee of Trust thing, and I was dealing with things I had no clue about as well as his pain and my own. I honestly thought I would so much rather be dead now at 77 than dealing with it. Then I slowly came around, spent lots of time with mindless movies that were uppers like Mrs Doubtfire and Moonstruck, or true crime podcasts and word puzzles, anything to free my mind in some mindless zen. And yes, I took up my old Drawing on the Left Side of the Brain book as well. I, unlike you, am not a natural.
Thank you so much for writing about the serious and severe pain and what it does to caregivers. And thank you for the glimmering of hope that we need expressed, to let folks know that they can/the might/they probably WILL feel peace again, even if only at moments.
So appreciate this post. I hope others will write about the ways they find a bit of relief. I love to clean. I love to garden. They somehow free my mind from the endless and senseless loop of it all, that loop that goes nowhere and has no answer for us.
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Thank you for sharing. That is awesome that you have found that you are talented. Such a rewarding gift to have.

Your story is inspiring and we all need to follow your advice to take time every day for us.


ps: I had to look up 3 words in the definition of trope to even be able to really read the definition and I had to look at multiple definitions to understand that there word. Good one.
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