This is an embarrassing question, but has anyone ever neglected to take care of themselves due to stress and exhaustion?

Follow
Share

There are days when I'm so physically and emotionally drained from taking care of my father that I can't find the energy to even take a shower or worse, change my clothes. I hope that the good thing about this is that I'm aware that I'm in a rut. I'm so upset with myself, but I also can't bring myself to care enough to even brush my hair.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
67

Answers

Show:
I don't do the normal self neglect. I shower most days and always have on clean clothes. But I do slide on the makeup unless I'm going somewhere. I mean, like who's going to be looking here?

I am seriously guilty of not going to the doctor. I haven't gotten a new primary since my old one retired three years ago. I know I need to find another, but I always think, "I can do that next week." It's starting to look like I'll be saying the same when I'm 90. It's strange that I go to the dentist more than the doctor. I might die young, but at least my teeth will be sparkling.
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

Neglecting myself? Many, many times. There was a time when I gave in to depression & burnout that my linen closets were full of cases of beer all the way up to the ceiling. The height of my drunkenness were the 3 years mom lived with me. After I moved her out I got tired of being drunk. Been clean for quite a while.
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

Can I be honest? Taking care of frail elders can cause a lot of misery. Sometimes when I hear of how rewarding it is, I want to kick the person's butt for saying such an absurdity. It is in no way rewarding for most of it. It is just something that has to be done given the state of elder care at the present time. A huge question is how to keep it from taking over and ruining our lives. I think it is really, really important that we keep ourselves clean and dressed. If others are like me, seeing myself look bad makes me feel worse. And why would I want to feel worse?

My mother is no joy to live with. I really do have to separate myself from her or she would pull me into a pit of despair. She is sick all day every day and it has been that way for years now. I prefer to feel good all day every day, but I can't do it if I'm in that pit of despair.

You know, I don't like waking up in the morning and thinking how things are. I am starting to feel slight nausea a lot now and I know it is just the misery of the house. We have to find ways to pull ourselves out of the misery, either physically or psychologically or it will ruin our lives, IMO.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

Does anyone else have the thought running in their minds that they don't want to get old? After watching my father and now my mother go through long, miserable marches through the grave, I dread the thought of living to a ripe old age. When I hear that I need to do this and that so I can live a long, long time, all I think is meh. Why would I want to live long enough to see my mind evaporate like I saw in both my parents? I just pray the Lord grants me good enough health until poof! it's all over.

That is a bit of a depressing sounding thought, but it wasn't meant to be. Until someone finds a cure for dementia that seems to run strongly in my family, I really don't want to live a long life. It is probably because what I've seen in my parents is the last 10-15 years is just a long death without much fun.

Something hard about being older ourselves is that we spend such a large part of our lives taking care of our parents, then we have very few good years (if any) left for ourselves. We really owe it to ourselves to pick ourselves up each day and enjoy life as much as possible that day and not say we are going to enjoy life after our parents are gone. Since people seem to live forever now, no matter how unhealthy they are, we can't put off enjoying our own lives and taking care of our needs.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

Yogalove, I can relate and I is not fun. You get so focused on chores, tasks, and needs of the moment, that you can't really relax. It's much too stressful. My issue is that I was too worried to sleep. I hardly ever got tired, until months later, when I fell apart.

When my loved one first became in dire need of help due to dementia, I had to drop everything, even though I was self employed. When this happens, you know all the things you have to attend to as DPOA and HCPOA, doctor visits, financial plans, household upkeep, insurance, bills, utilities caught up, cleaning, attorneys, etc.

I was so stressed out trying to do the job of 3 people that I really caused myself problems. As soon as the major crisis was over, my body started falling apart. I had a terrible dental abscess, root canal, my eye got infected, my hip went out, my psoriasis flared up, my stomach started making this horrible sounds, and I ended up losing about 40 pounds, though that was welcomed. The rest of the aliments were not.

I now know to not allow a situation of caretaking to overwhelm me like that. It's not worth it. Someone else can help or do the work. It's an unkind thing to do to yourself and I won't do it again. Sometimes we learn the hard way.

Can't you get some help? The job you are doing is very challenging. Please take care of yourself.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

I've looked down at myself and said "oh I guess I haven't showered or dressed today" , oh well...

Also have fell asleep on the couch in my clothes and been woken up by Mom to start my day, so I wore the same clothes again...

No big deal, just to damn busy..

"Whatever".. Who would know anyway..
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Shower daily? Comb hair daily? Change out of my pj's DAILY? Why?

Mom was always scrubbed and wearing fresh clothes... meh, I didn't care about me anymore, just mom. Not a good thing... even after she's been gone 5 months I still find it hard to do those daily tasks. Ugh

Thankfully you have some family in your corner, I am sure it helps, no experience with it, but surely it must?
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

I actually think its OK to feel too tired exhausted fed up pissed off totally to b other with some things. I do wash every day - I usually shower at stupid o'clock in the morning but just now and then - when the devil takes me I spend an hour with my feet in a foot spa a face pack on and lovely perfume sprayed around. Why? Haven't a clue but its like I NEEEEEEEEEED it and I have to say I feel wonderful for it. I also find that however much of a drudge it may be for you keeping the house as clean and tidy and sweet smelling as I can makes a huge difference to how I feel. And on that note....I better do some cleaning!!
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Yogalove, welcome to the club. I am sure there are times when I arrived at my office and had forgotten to comb my hair. Hey, one shower a week is fine, especially now that the weather is much cooler. In-between use Huggies Natural Wipes or walk through a mist of Lysol.

I know I have cut back on the make-up as I just don't feel like doing it, my hand shakes too much for liquid eye liner now, oh what a mess.... as my mind is so overloaded with elder parent stuff and wondering why my parents had been so stubborn.

Even with my parents now both being cared for by paid caregivers, it is still physically and emotionally draining to ones soul as prior to this year I was running here and there for 6 years, juggling my work schedule, and trying to care for two houses. And every time the phone rang I would jump out of my skin wondering who fell this time.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Thank you so very much, everyone! I'm so sorry it took me this long to respond. We had a very difficult week and I haven't been able to get online very much. Freqflyer: you made me laugh with the Lysol comment! I feel the same way these days. I walk around with deodorant in my purse and body spray...which might not actually smell as nicely to other people as it does to me. I know about the phone ringing. My father has been falling a great deal lately, twice last week. I realized that my phone is NEVER off for the very reason you mentioned. I used to take great pains to put on a full face every morning...now, I'm lucky if I can even muster up the energy to put mascara on the second eye. I truly walked around like that one day - only my right eye done. I didn't even care. Assandache7: I feel like I've been wearing the same clothes for weeks. All I can say is: thank God I discovered dry shampoo! JessieBelle: I am the polar opposite of you. I HATE the dentist, but I keep up pretty well with my primary. I suppose this is a good thing because if I become too concerned about this funk I'm in, I can always reach out to her for help. GardenArtist: your suggestions about food preparation are so, so helpful. I'm going to try that this week and see how it goes. I'm so easily overwhelmed these days. I could benefit from being way more proactive about chores. Sunnygirl1: I'm so sorry you suffered such pain as a result of your experience. It sounds awful. I've been very afraid to ask someone to give me a hand because, truth be told, my father is a very difficult man and is hard to like, let alone love. My family members are beyond grateful that I've taken up the task of caring for him, though my sister actually said I look a little worn out so I think she may give me a little reprieve. Thank you so much again everyone for your support. I was starting to really scare myself. I think I need to come up with daily routines so I don't let myself go too much. Small things help, right? I need to remember that when I feel too tired to even lift my arms to wash my hair.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.