Gentle Warriors: Madhavi’s Perspective

“You cannot play a perfectionist in every role…you WILL make mistakes, just learn from them and accept yourself as you are” 

Madhavi became a caregiver to her mother in law who was diagnosed with Cancer, but it was not her first time as she was already providing extra care and attention to her daughter who has special needs. Madhavi started to feel the strain of caregiving and began to feel exhausted emotionally as well as physically.

With no help around the house, Madhavi had to ensure all meals were prepared on time, her daughter was dropped off and picked up from school on time, look after the needs and well-being of her ailing mother and generally play her many roles. As hard as she found dealing with all of this her most challenging moments were when she had to put up a brave face and console her mother-in-law. Madhavi felt guilty about taking a break while others around her were suffering. Acceptance is a must..acceptance of our situation and our own capabilities.  It is impossible to be the perfect wife, mother or caregivers, so it is ok to make mistakes (even if it seems like showing your vulnerability) and ask for help.

“Its always good to share with people who you feel close to… don’t be hesitant in asking for help…I’m sure people do understand”

She feels being part of groups where you can relate to each other’s situation and experiences is helpful in dealing with stress and anxiety.People understand and are compassionate, we need to put aside our ego and ask for help, for our own well-being. Madhavi suggests sharing experiences with others and taking time to do something for yourself, whether its watching a movie, going for a walk or anything the caregiver wishes to do.

If you can identify with this story, please share it with others who care for someone and help them share too. The feeling of understanding, not being alone and access to support is what keeps caregivers going.  

Sharing your story helps understand yourself — feelings, passions, hopes. It lightens the load and offers relief from loneliness, anxiety, anger or guilt. Our experiences and hopes can benefit others – to know that the challenges are the same, learn new ways to cope and care… they aren’t alone but part of a team.

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