What can I do not to feel so overwhelmed by all of my moms health issues? Plus get out of depression?

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I have taken care of my mom and lived with her for 4 years. The last two years have just been pure awful. Her health just gets worse. Its all getting to me lately. I have a son that I want to spend more time with. He is just 12, and they are only little once. I have already lost so much time with him, and my significant other because of my mom. a lot of times she acts as if I owe her my whole life. To say I'm sick of it all is just a understatement. Don't get me wrong I love her. She did give me life, and I want MY life back. Just feels like its never gonna get to the point of having my own house again & tending to my own family. I'm a single mom. My son's dad is MIA. worthless really. My son is the most beautiful part of my life, and him dependent on me keeps me going really. I just feel guilty about all the time I am missing out with him & my little family because of my caregiving role. Well it sure helps to vent. Any suggestions? Or advice? Can you relate, and feel my pain? I'm getting a closer relationship with God, and that does help. Please leave me a message, and I plan to log in a couple times a week as this site is so helpful! have a great weekend my fellow caregivers. Get a lil time for yOU!!

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Hi Kellyb,
What you are feeling is very normal. Your son and your relationship with your significant other deserve your time. Your deserve your own time, as well. It's wonderful that you have helped and are willing to continue helping your mom, but you need to make some hard choices.

I get the impression that your mom lives with you. I hope you will find some living arrangement for her that doesn't include you being her lifeline. Assisted living may work since she sounds like she needs help. She may or may not be ready for a nursing home yet. If you can find a way to hire in-home help before making a final decision, that could help. But you do need something more permanent.

You mention that you are closer to God now. Are you close to your spiritual leader? Maybe you can get some assistance through him or her that will help you line up some changes for your mom.

You can also go to your state website. Type the name of your state into your browser along with the word "aging." If you do that, you should find services for aging people offered by your state. Their version of the National Family Caregiver Support Program should offer you some contacts who can help you figure out local services.

Please continue to check this site often. And please keep us informed on how you are doing.
Take care,
Carol
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Are you getting ANY help at all like in-home respite care? Is your mother on Medicaid? I think (hope) there is some provision for a little relief. Can you get a few hours with your son once or twice a week?

I think you need to change a few ideas to help you cope. Ignore or forgive me if I'm wrong. These are just my ideas.

Your mother is not your mother any more. She is a small somewhat helpless child who would gladly swallow every bit of your time and attention, not because she's selfish, but because of the disease. When your son was little, you couldn't always give him exactly what he wanted. You had to say no sometimes. You had to let him suffer sometimes. When you just CAN'T make your mother happy, try to accept that that's just how life goes. Your mother is suffering, and that's not your fault. Most of the time you do relieve her suffering. Focus on that.

The other thing to think about is that your mother's problems are not your problems. I don't mean you shouldn't try to help her with her problems. You should just remember that they are not your problems. Keep a little distance between you so you can stay calm enough to help her.

If you are religious, try to use that, and to pray constantly. "Lord, give me strength. Lord, please hold my mother in your hands. Lord, will you watch over Mother for me so I can sleep, and wake me if she needs me?" I'm not especially religious, but I find prayer is so calming. I think that God loves to hear from us, and loves to lift our burden for a while, if we let him.

I wish I could lift your burdens. God bless you.
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What I was trying to say is that it doesn't relieve your mother at all for you to suffer too. Your pain doesn't decrease her pain, so try not to feel it, and don't TRY to feel it. She needs sympathy and love, not your suffering.
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kellyB, what you are feeling is so normal, because I believe it is the right way to feel. Your son and you come first. He needs your time and guidance. It sounds like you need to bring in some help and companionship for your mother, so you can spend more time doing normal things, like taking your son to games and other school events. He will remember when he grows up that Mom was there for him.

Sometimes caregiving can get out of balance. One person can't live for three people very well unless there is a way to pull together as a team. With your mother's health issues, it is hard to do things that you need to do with your son. For his sake, try to find some help so you can recapture some of your own life.
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