We have just come out of the fabricated commercialism of Valentine’s Day. I urged you to remember that the most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. Now, it is Family Day weekend in many parts of Canada. As I so often declare: “Friends are the family we choose for ourselves”.
Never is this truer than when contending with grueling eldercare. In my experience, three types of friends were particularly helpful.
When you are feeling overwhelmed by demands flying at you from every direction… This is the friend who consistently turns the mess into logic. They receive your endless laundry list of chores undaunted. If anything, they view it as rather of a challenge to transform everything you just spilled out into a perfectly-organized sequence. Think, the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales and Rumplestiltskin spinning straw into gold. Modern day, think The Project Manager.
When you could crawl under the covers because what’s on your plate is so not in your wheelhouse… This is the friend who doesn’t wait to be asked how they can help. They avoid the well-intended but classic error of saying: “Let me know if there’s anything you need.” The burdened caregiver doesn’t know! Instead, they grocery shop or bring over several nights of dinners while you take Un-cope-able Mom or Dad to appointments because they insist on you.
The (Emotional) Champion
When you want to curl into a ball and cry your eyes out (whether a woman or man)… This is the friend who is truly there for you. You genuinely feel comfortable calling them at the proverbial midnight hour when in dire straits. You won’t hear two seconds into your woes: “Oh that reminds me of the time my parents ___.” Quite the opposite! This person’s unique genius is to intuitively know the exactly-right words you need to hear in that moment. It’s about you.
Take an Inventory
For certain, had it not been for my special close friends I could call on day and night (and did), I’m not convinced this horrendous chapter of life would have been survived.
Undoubtedly, there are other types of supporters besides those mentioned here. In fact, I hope so! For now, I firmly believe it will be time well-spent to identify your own Inner Circle. It does not have to include hundreds. Even a half-dozen folks will be substantive in assisting you to get through.
A Reminder: When you book your confidential Readiness Session with me at https://www.copingwithuncopeableparents.com/book-my-readiness-session/ you are taking the first step toward having another champion on your team.