First time ever asking a question on this type of site so I was unsure the level of background/detail that would be of value. So when in doubt, the whole story:
I’m 26, an only child, and I have been the primary caregiver for my mother for the past 4 years. Her husband, my father, died in 2007. She is currently experiencing dementia and losing her short-term and spatial memory. Additionally, she is bound to a wheelchair and a diabetic. I have been able to successfully automate some of her care by, and I use this word because I cannot think of another, ‘training’ her to take prefilled containers with her morning/afternoon/night pills and calling me twice a day with her blood sugar readings.
When she became paralyzed I was 21 and didn't really know what to do. I was a full-time undergrad and worked in internship at the local utility. Due to the demands of her care I didn't really pursue any other work while in school. I thankfully managed to get near complete scholarships and worked at night in a janitorial job, so that I would be free’ish to help her during the day. Upon completing college I managed to get employment as a data analyst at a local corporation 5 minutes from home; however, they are very demanding with my time and though the task isn’t physically demanding it requires high levels of concentration and focus reviewing thousands of lines of code. Right when I get home I have to take a nap to alive the headache; however, I cannot take a job somewhere else as it would place me farther away from my responsibility to my mother. To continue my education I enrolled in graduate school right after graduation, online to be home more and keep a work schedule free, but have had to steadily reduce this to half-time or below (which FASFA won’t cover, just great…). I have no social life, no girlfriend, and few friends I rarely see. I don’t like associating with people my own age because I see the lives they are building and I feel envious of them. I continually feel that I am not doing enough for my mother, that I have a debt which is unpaid to her. I do all cleaning, maintenance, upkeep around the house the best I can but I feel that I am always behind. Example: I haven’t vacuumed in a long time, I hate that, it makes me feel like crap. I constantly hear that “I am a such a good son,” but it feels like a lie. The carpet, to continue my example, looks like crap. I know I could be doing more but I don’t have the motivation or the time. I only sleep 4.5hrs a night and take modifinal and amphetamines (script) for focus and to keep going, but my motivation to push forward continues to slip. As immature as it sounds I sometimes just want to sit around and play Xbox, a feeling I felt so guilty being that it is such a waste of time that I donated my Xbox to the Salvation Army.
I don’t expect to be a social maverick or a corporate titian but how do I balance what I need to do to create some kind of life while repaying the debt I owe to the one who created that life? How do I get and stay motivated to go on when every day is a grueling ordeal of work and disappointment? How can I effectively care for my mother without sacrificing my own goals/life?