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I lost my Mom a few months ago. So much of my life was wrapped around looking after her and her needs that I think somewhere along the way I lost myself too. I'm curious to know how others have adjusted. Right now I just don't feel like I have any purpose at all some days. I work part time and I don't even want to do that. In the beginning as painful as the loss was it felt somewhat easier staying so busy clearing out the house and everything but now that its all finished I find myself at a crossroad. I have zero interests in anything it seems these days and I am struggling to find whats next. How have all of you adjusted to life after care giving? I can't possibly be the only one feeling this way. I'm at a total loss on what I want for the rest of my life and I find myself questioning my own mortality more than anything. Is this normal?

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I am sorry for your loss and I understand how lost you are. I lost my son 4 years ago. He was severely handicapped since birth and my life did revolve around him. When he passed, (he was 18) I was lost with no purpose and ended up becoming depressed. It took me a year and a half to get myself together and get my life on track. Last year I finally started enjoying my life like never before; then my dad moved in. Good bye freedom; hello caregiving.
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Also not to be repedative but I'm so very sorry for your loss I know how you feel
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I've been a care giver for a couple of people in my life.moms are different the loss is more personal, but I've taken care of a couple that felt like family,and I can say there is no getting over the loss ,just like any grief .ONE DAY AT A TIME.and sometimes giving your time to some one who knew your mom,friend really helps you not only get the sadisfaction of helping but hearing stories you never knew puts a new spin on it all. Lastly pray even if your not religious pray it does fell good and who else can you talk to that won't judge
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Reverseroles I wish my Mom would have lived with me. Really I do. She would never agree to it as she always hated just sitting in other peoples houses, even her kids. I do understand what you mean though, in my darkest hours when I was so stressed to the limits I too would think about all the things I would do when I had my time back. Don't get me wrong, never ever for one second did I ever wish for it, I would just think about all the things I would do when I finally had the free time to do them. Now that that time is actually here I don't want to do any of them. I spend my days when I'm not working trying to keep busy cleaning doing house stuff, I don't really want to do out and to be honest, I don't even want to socialize because then I hear everyone else s gripes and that gets me more sad. Your Mom is so lucky to have you taking such good care of her. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Enjoy every second you have with her because the emptiness afterwards is really hard.
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Sorry about the type-os, on my cell . Just came outside to breathe after getting mom in bed.
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Msdaisy, i kniw what you mean in some aspects. I sometimes get jesloys of people like you who have no caregiving responsibilities anymore, awful to say but i am on 8 years here! I dlso get upset when people complain about caregiving and their oarent doesnt live with them like me. They can walk out the door, if you know what i mean.my mom cdnt talk or walk or see, it bothers me to hear when others can. Its normal, we dll have different levels of care and need support. I look forward to a life after caregiving!
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I can't do pills I just can't. I know this is all normal parts of grief and I'm sure in time it will pass and I thank you all for the suggestions. Only time is going to heal this sadness I guess and in the meantime I'm praying! It's just very unfair and I feel very cheated and I can't seem to bear to hear anyone complain about their parents on any level. I am so jealous of anyone and everyone who still have them. I'll be ok in time, just something I have to work through I guess.
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msdaisy, this is hard and you may just need time - but if no spark of life or hint of joy or peace comes back, in weeks or months, it may be more than just grief, so do not hesitate to go get help with it.
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Msdaisy, what would your Mom want? You know, to live your live and be happy and I am sure you would want your children to also if you passed. Chin Up ! Its Family time, take a cruise! lol If all fails there is always zoloft!
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relief and grief can come mixed together I agree. While I no longer have the daily responsibilities and constant worry that comes with having an older parent now I find myself just replaying everything over and over in my mind constantly. My life will never be the same ever without my best friend. My Mom taught me everything except how to live without her and that pain is just unbearable most days. I just wonder if ever I will see sunshine again because right now everything is still very dark and very gloomy and while I am trying my very best (for the sake of my husband and kids) to keep putting one foot in front of the other and put on a happy face and live inside I feel totally dead and I don't see myself being resurrected any time soon if that makes any sense. It just sucks. I don't think there is a hobby in the world that will lift me out of this funk. I'm basically just existing.
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Relief and grief come mixed together for us. With a little numbness that takes a while to wear off too, that just protects you from the full blast of intense emotions. Give yourself time, maybe take up one or two things that you had to give up to do caregiving when you feel the urge and the need. Small ones first maybe.
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This topic is hard to understand to myself who is caring for my Mom still. I try and hire a weekend 8 hour day Aide so my husband and I can get out. I have missed a lot and want to do so much that I cannot do, but I love my Mom and am doing my best . Shes my sweetie pie, god love her at 94 . I know it will kill me to lose her, I also know I have grieved her already as hasnt spoken in years now and hasnt known me. I want relief after grief, not more anxiety attacks. Being able to come and go, do as you please, knowing you gave 100% of loving care to your parent doesnt give some relief when they go? This is hard to read , I dont need more stress, just relief when God is taking care of my Mom.
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Ps thank you everyone for all the kind words of encouragement I really appreciate each and every one of them.
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Nanascola I can definitely relate to the panic attacks as I suffered with horrible anxiety all summer. Thankfully I think the worst is over as I haven't had any of the anxiety or panic attack a for a few weeks now. I too refused to go to a dr and get pills. Your body goes through so much when you grieve it's not only about the crying. In my case I think I was tuning a lot of the Grief out by distracting myself and it was coming back out in the form of anxiety. Now I'm just sad all the time guess that's normal
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msdaisey, they are all right! All of the above posters, I too have been right where you are now, I have lost 3of our parents, and all in a 14 months span of time, 11 years ago, and the grief is powerful and overwhelming, but eventually you do get through to the other side, and for everyone it is difficult and different. My suggestion to you is to find your happiness in something that you like or reconnect with friends and family, keep your job, if only to keep busy, and if money isn't an issue, plan a fun Holliday away, and do it! Like others have said, find a new purpose, and otherwise it is all about the time. Remember the good times, and also that your Mom wants you to be
happy, and to go ahead with your own life! You mentioned kids, are there Grandchildren in your life? Here is nothing like a baby or young kids to motivate, but I don't suggest that you get into caregiving again, whether it is for an elder, nor a child, it's time to reinvent your own lifenow, and you will with t7me! Good luck, and God bless!
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Of course you're not going to have any interests at the moment. You're grieving, rewinding the tape of your existence time and again, and trying to figure out in which direction you're headed. The past is still your present, and there's a lot of reflecting to do. In a nutshell, you're healing.

Reclaiming or resurrecting the life you had before caregiving isn't an option because you're a much different, smarter, and stronger person. Caregiving changed you and there's no way back.

It's not easy to transition from years of devoted loving service to a life with plenty of freedom to re-invent oneself at leisure and, maybe for the first time, be Lord and master of your own destiny. It's even harder for those whose identity, self-esteem, self-respect, and self-worth has been wrapped around the needs of someone else.

Once you figure out who you are everything else should begin to fall into place.
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My caregiving came to a close four months ago, but not with my mom passing, sis poa decided to move her to a memory care facility because she thought it would be cheaper than the about 5k mom was spending at home each month. Sis has had one heck of a surprise! I was then locked out of mom's house and am staying at a neighbor's house until I can move back to my home or find work.

The loss is at times overwhelming and I am most worried about mom. I provided her 24/7 care for four years and it is absolutely consuming. I am looking for work hopefully something will pan out soon. If not, I will sell my home for cash to live on until I find work.

My golden retreiver and neighbors and friends here have been my saving grace. It is just such an empty feeling that will take time to get me back together. It is a drastic change that regardless of the situation is difficult.
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My mother passed three months ago. I kind of crashed, too. I started having panic attacks just taking a ride in the car with my husband. Those only happen when I am under undue stress. I did a lot of research and realized I was second-guessing myself and feeling guilty. I refused to go back on Lexapro, and followed the advice the doctor's nurse gave me the first time. Do something you like. I bought some adult coloring books, markers, and just started coloring mindlessly. Whenever I sat around, I was coloring complicated graphic designs. Some ended in the trash, others are in a notebook. A week ago, I finally felt the cloud lift, and I have energy again. I am working on my miniature scenes again, and just having fun.

I will always miss my mother, but I realized I did the best I could for her for 28 years. In the early years, she helped me by watching my girls while I worked full time and went to school at night. In the later years, our roles reversed. I will always miss her!

Just be patient with yourself, and find something that you enjoy doing. Even if it is just coloring.
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Ha! Thank you msdaisy!! Not sure how brilliant they are but I have realized how powerful and substantial they are.

Once upon a time I started the thread "My Whine Moment, What's Yours"? Back then, even though I loved my mother so much, I had to whine about things... it is so hard caring like we do, we are human and have to whine, right? So, with that said. It Is What It Is. Well, now it Isn't, and I will never have "what it is" again.

My dogs have been a huge comfort to me. They are the reasons I get up and go about my day anymore. Since I got my new puppy, Baby G.G. who is just 11 weeks, 2 days and 20 lbs, I've been feeling so much more energy, more happiness and most def more smiles.

Like you I went on the "get it done" marathon. Then went on a "house improvement" marathon. Crashed big time a month ago and decided that "it is what it is".

You and me both have no clue what it is we want it seems. As with all things I guess it's just a matter of time, so they say. Keeping busy is always a great thing.

At 51, I am not ready to give up yet.

Hugs!!
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Thanks Jeanette and Ladee sure feels like a struggle every single day but Jeanette those are some brilliant and powerful words. My dogs have definitely held my sanity no disputes there. Go enjoy your walk and write back when you can. "It is what it is until it isn't." Wow. Very substantial words. Thank you so much.
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No msdaisy, you are not the only one feeling like you are. I certainly am and I think a few others on this site are as well.

I will elaborate more but my soup is almost done and I have to take the dogs out before it gets too dark.

something that crossed through my head today though was this.

It is what it is until it isn't, then you just hope you find what it was again.

Hun, I know your struggles.

Sorry for your loss...
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I'm sure it's absolutely normal. When we 'lose' something that's been our base of existence and our focus for so long, it seems inevitable.

Unless you've been dreaming of doing something.

I've been making plans. I have a vision in my head of what I'm going to do after my caregiving days are over. The ones for my dad are done, except for all the final arrangements and closing all the legal/financial books, but I still caregive for my Edna fulltime. She's 92, now, and we have no idea how much longer she's likely to last. Could be days, weeks, years. If it's closer to years, I may have to reconsider my ability to keep up with the work. My body is craving different, less stressful work.

During your most stressed out moments, what did you wish you might be doing instead? Relaxing on a beach? Sitting in a classroom full of kids? Making crafts? Reading? Decorating a house? I'd imagine there was *somewhere* you'd like to be. Maybe you can build on that.

Good luck, and do let us know how it goes, ok?
LadeeC
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