For over 5 years after my divorce all I've done is be a caregiver for my mom. I haven't had a chance to do much of anything for myself over the years. I rarely go out and whenever I thought about getting a job my mom would end up in the ER/hospital and I knew I'd never be able to keep one if I could get it in the first place.
Back in April I had applied to the Master Naturalist volunteer training program but as the start day approached I realized that there was no way I'd even be able to commit to most Thursday and some Saturdays between June and August....until last week. Once my mom was in a rehab facility I called and confirmed my attendance. Honestly I haven't been this excited over anything in a loooooooooong time. Hell, I haven't had a chance to do anything in a long time! I'm so desperate for different stimulation that I'd seriously consider a job at Taco Bell and I'm a vegetarian.
I hadn't realized how depressed and apathetic I'd become until I found myself humming while fishing crap soaked clothes out of my mom's toilet bowl. I was ecstatic because I knew that was the last new problem I'd have to literally clean up in a while. I still have the old ongoing issue with a dirty kitchen, but I'm working on that too. My mom was still trying to cook and I had no idea one slow elderly woman could make that much of a mess that fast. I was demoralized trying to keep it even reasonably clean and in the last few weeks I had mostly given up. I'd clean for the 4 hours she was in dialysis and I'd go back in there to find it twice as dirty as it had been. I think some of the mess she made was deliberate. I had started to avoid going in there at much as I could and was living on bread/peanut butter, granola bars and fast food in my room. Tonight was the first time I had cooked myself a hot meal in my own kitchen in weeks maybe longer. The best thing is knowing that when I go back in there it's going to be as I left it; no surprises!!
I'm happier than I have been in years; I'm more relaxed, less angry, and less frustrated. I know some of that is just a reaction to my sudden change in circumstance and getting a week 'off', but wow, it certainly feels good!
I can't go back to being a full-time caregiver. I want a life. I want a future. I want choices. I don't even feel all that guilty saying it. I'm done. If rehab wants to send her home then they're going to have to figure it out without me. I'll go live in my car before I take it up again.