Tackling Fear in Caregiving
by: Kathi Koll on
Caregiving can be scary—not in the way a Halloween horror flick provokes fear—but instead the way real life does.
It is scary to watch someone you love struggle, and voicing your fears can help you face them. Simply stating a fear aloud can often reduce its power. It’s okay to share your worries with your loved one or other family members. Sometimes it also may be easier to talk to friends who aren’t as close to the situation. A journal, a therapist, or a support group can also provide additional ways to express your feelings. Support groups can often be particularly powerful, because you will have the chance to hear others’ fears and not feel so alone with your experiences.
Although it took me a long time to learn to do this, letting go of my wishes for the future and releasing my desire for a return to the past were key to improving the present. It was daunting to make this leap, but I couldn’t bring back those special times my husband and I shared before his stroke. I also couldn’t make our future stroke-free, but I could accept our present reality and try to bring joy into it. Accepting our present and truly inhabiting it brought both my husband and I more happiness. It was actually a bit of a frightening leap to let go of our desire for a different reality, but that leap opened the way for joy.
As a caregiver, sometimes life can be confusing with so many choices to make and no clear path to guide you. When making medical or caregiving choices, it’s hard to know what the right thing to do is, and the uncertainty can be frightening. However, by caring for someone you love in whatever way ends up working for you and your family, you are doing an amazing thing. You may not always feel like you are doing something amazing, but you are, so really take the time to notice this. No matter how emotionally taxing your caregiving journey may be, your loved one is lucky that you care. Remember that.
Main image courtesy of Pexels from Pixabay.
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Kathi Koll is the founder of The Kathi Koll Foundation and author of the award-winning Kick-Ass Kinda Girl: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Caregiving. Please visit KathiKoll.com to learn more about the book and read an excerpt. Sign up for the blog here .