“Never think you are weak …Life is tough it has difficulties but we overcome them and you just have to be positive”
When Neema’s husband had a heart attack, she suddenly became a caregiver to him. However, she was not new to this role as she was already a caregiver to her daughter who was diagnosed with developmental delays and needed a lot of help as she was seizure prone. Neema’s husband was later bedridden due to femur cancer and she had the added responsibility of her mother-in-law.
Neema was exhausted and overwhelmed and decided to reach out to her brother-in-law for help even though initially she was hesitant to ask. She quickly realised that the best way for her to get through everything in her life was creating a strong support system. She turned to her family not only to physically help her but also to share and vent her feelings. She believes that the strength they provided is a major reason why she didn’t feel negatively towards her situation in life.
She also discusses the power of talking to the people that are making one feel frustrated or angry rather than bottling those emotions up and letting them boil over into hatred and bitterness.
“Never think you aren’t important, we are as important as the people we are taking care of”
She recommends doing things for oneself. Caregivers often forget about themselves and focus solely on the person or people they give care to. Her husband was the one who told her to go out and take care of herself. He helped her get over the guilt that she would feel when she left them at home to go and enjoy herself.
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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