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Mom was placed in AL last summer. This after a couple years of much stress, heartache, physical, mental & emotional toll. Now I find myself wondering what will it take to feel like my old self? Or is "she" gone forever? I have no desire to even visit Mom anymore. I am just so burned out. And so very sad. Yes, I'm on antidepressants and seeing a therapist.. I do feel somewhat better. At least I am participating in life again to a certain degree. But, I'm just not "me".

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I fell the same way since my mother died.
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cr0105, I can relate to you not feeling like yourself. Even without caregiving or bereavement, depression makes one feel that way. I am so glad that you are treating the depression. I don't think you can truly deal with the other issues until you get the baseline "you" back.

I remember when people joked about Prozac as a "happy pill." No. Appropriate antidepressants are "normal pills." I have major depressive disorder, and I've had a few episodes of needing antidepressants. They just help me feel like me. I'm not happy all the time. There are things to legitimately be sad about. But my emotions now are a reflection of who I am, not of a person I don't recognize. For example, I worked from home and dealt with colleagues over the phone. One week I cried talking to my boss, and was sarcastic to a coworker. This was so not professional, so not me. I knew then it was time to seek treatment.

I suspect that dreading seeing your mother is "not you." Is that right?

Again, I congratulate you on dealing with the depression. Keep that up! It won't make the caregiver issues go away, but it will help you deal with them more authentically as the real you.
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I can relate....
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Cr, wow, your last post could have been written by me. It really struck home with me. Like Countrymouse, my Mom died almost two years ago. I can honestly say I don't know who I am anymore. I really don't. What is normal? I have no idea. My whole life really was all about Mom. Not just when she became elderly and ill and had to be transitioned into nursing care. Like you, my Mom didn't remember the last year before the whole nursing home transition. She thought we just moved her into a new apartment. I don't think I ever heard her say, I'm in a nursing home. Was she in denial? Was it dementia? I really can't say. But, now she is gone and I sometimes feel like I died with her. I voiced these concerns to my husband on the weekend. He always gets this scared, deer in the headlights look on his face when I admit that I am scared and depressed. He wants me to be strong for him. But I don't know if I can be strong for anyone again. Not even myself.

I wish I could tell you it gets easier. For some, I'm sure it does. But, I feel like a wreck most of the time now. I stopped taking care of myself and I don't sleep. I don't eat properly anymore. I've stopped exercising. Sometimes I think I'm slowing trying to kill myself. I know it sounds harsh but I'm being honest here. :(
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Thank you all for your input. It has been awhile since I posted this question. Things are moving forward..as life does right?? I am slowly learning to TRY a process that helps. This is just something I came up with on my own. Whenever I visit Mom, and see things that need to be done or taken care of, I tell myself that for every ONE THING now, there used to be TEN before she moved to AL. I was with her for the past two days and on my 2 & 1/2 hour drive home, it occurred to me that if things hadn't changed, I quite likely wouldn't be alive right now. Seriously. FreqFlyer- Mom's memory is bad & getting worse. To top it off, she doesn't remember all that occurred prior to her move. So she gets sad about being there. She said to me today (oh..yesterday now), "I think about my big family I had and all the fun times we had together and then I think who would've ever thought I would be living in an apartment by myself now". Sigh. I told her that there were a lot of things involved in that decision...including the fact that she stated that she wanted her "own space". She doesn't remember that. She doesn't remember staying at my house for a month, begging to go home. Instead, she tells people that if she could have what she REALLY wants, she would live with her daughter. ME. She also forgets that I have more physical ailments than she does..by a long shot! I get so depressed filling out her health forms, thinking "check that box yes..no wait that's me, not her". She forgets that I have a bad back & reaches for me to help her out of chairs & the car. But I'm the only one now. Her home doesn't provide such services. It worries and depresses me that if I had to be hospitalized, I would only hope she didn't need me for that length of time. And now I have a condition requiring surgery that I keep postponing...as a direct result of all the lifting, tugging and pushing. They say after my repairs I will not be able to lift more than 5 pounds. ..for LIFE. Or stand the chance of irreparable damage.
Well it is now 1:41 A.M. so I should attempt to sleep. My husband who is wonderfully patient, kind and good..hasn't had the pleasure of my company in bed for almost a year now. It's just easier to sleep separately than to fake it...if you know what I mean. It seems that aspect of "me" is gone too. 😞
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A new normal... I couldn't agree more. It seems to me unlikely that you will ever feel yourself to be the same person you were before your mother became frail. And why should you? We change with experience, and sometimes it's a growth, and sometimes it's a real battering. We get through it, but we're not the same. We might be wiser, more accepting, more resilient, all kinds of beneficial things, but we're not the same.

My mother died nearly two years ago, and I am still unable to be away from home - it's even a different home - for more than a couple of hours without feeling that I need to get back. In case. In case of what, I couldn't tell you. I'm just very uncomfortable not being in the place where anyone who needs me might expect me to be.

How would you say you are coping with your feelings about not wanting to visit your mother? I don't mean that you "should" feel one way or another about it; and it certainly does seem a good idea to give yourself a proper breathing space after what must have been a very rough time. But for you the final big change is still ahead. You can't really wrap things up and leave them behind you just yet, which must make the feeling of limbo even harder.
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cr0105, some of us need to create a "new normal". My parents past last year, and still to this day I panic when the telephone rings. It had to do with 7 years of my parents still living in their house and falling. Then Mom moving to long-term-care and Dad to Assisted Living... plus the facilities needed to notify me of any falls or medical issues... whew.

And I am still so tired. Lost a lot of sleep during those 7 years, and it shows. Now I don't feel like doing anything. I know people say take care of yourself, but it was tough, it got to a point where if I saw another doctor's waiting room I was going to scream.... so I put off all of my doctors, plus the pets didn't go to the vet for their "senior wellness exams", either.

I am also seeing a talk therapist, I lucked out, she is around my age and had to deal with elderly parents, so when she says "I can related to that", she really can related.

Currently I am keeping busy working on a family tree... oh how I wished my parents were still around answer to answer tree questions. How is your Mom's memory? It would give her and you something to talk about.
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Dear Friend,

I'm so sorry to hear how you feel. Its tough. We caregivers struggle along for a very long time before a decision is made about AL or NH, but once its made its still very tough. I think its takes our minds and bodies to adjust to a new normal.

I don't think as caregivers we can ever go back to our old selves again. 5 months since my dad passed, I have this question and now I am realizing there is no going back. I have to find myself again and I honestly don't know what that looks like right now.

Glad you are looking at different treatments. Maybe consider talking to another therapist or having another doctor review your meds if you feel like you are feeling more and more lost.

Continue to take time for yourself and try to find even small things to be joyful about. I know its easier said than done, but that's what I'm doing. I still have terrible guilt about my dad's passing. Thinking of you.
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