It’s a real conundrum.  When you’re sick and also the one responsible for taking care of yourself at the same time, it’s tough.  Beyond tough.  Period.

There are no simple answers.  There is only living through it – and trial and error. Keep it simple:  try something and notice whether it  provides a little relief. Whether it’s medication or meditation, the results are often hard to measure because you’re in the middle of your own circumstances.

Though you may hope and wish for a competent caregiver, one may not be available for you.

You may feel embarassed as others you love, like a family member  or perhaps a close friend, stand by wringing their hands feeling helpless and afraid.

You may feel responsible to come through, to keep pulling rabbits out of your hat, to get your act together – for the sake of setting a good example for others at the very least if not for your own sanity.

Because we’re all different, there are as many variations on the plotline of this story as there are people who struggle with their mental health.

I don’t have an answer to this one.  It is heartbreaking.

What I can offer you though is hope.  That things do change.  Because that is life – life is about change. And though those changes may feel hard or the good things may feel difficult to hold on to, there is still hope.

And there is love.  See if you can find that love within yourself – even if just for a moment – to do the little things that help.

Because those little things do in fact help.  Whatever they are.  Since we’re all different, those little things are likewise different for each of us.  If you can’t think of one little thing that helps, try anything.  A deep breath.  A walk outside. A stretch.  A cup of coffee.  All good things to try and notice if they help.  Even if just for a moment and even if just a little.

Oftentimes, you can build on those little things that help – doing one after another, and create some momentum.  Sometimes, it’s a bit touch and go- which can be frustrating.  If you can remember there’s hope, you’ll get yourself back on track.

And keep in mind that you’re okay just as you are – no matter what it may feel like or seem like on the inside – that right this moment, as you are reading this you are okay. And you have this difficult passage that you’re going through where you are both the caregiver and the patient in charge.

Maybe you need support with that – so that you can be the best you can be for yourself.

Yes, you heard me. . . though your life may be about survival and responsibilities, you are here to enjoy your life.

See if you can touch into that spot – even if just for a moment – and find that spot that once knew joy.  And if you can’t find it right now, it’s okay too.  Just know it exists.

And if I can walk with you through this. . . . please, let me know. Because I get this one . . . . deep in my bones, I get it.  And what I can offer you is support, structure, someone to sit on the curb with you who doesn’t need anything from you other than for you to show up as you are.    Because that’s what I’m here for – to help you love yourself through this and find your way to feeling better.

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