I've only recently joined this forum and I can honestly say I'm so happy I did!
I guess in a nutshell, I'm having a difficult time coping as a carer. I'm finding this odd because I've been a carer for 3 years now and have managed it relatively well. I'm 29 and my husband is 32. When he was 29, he was diagnosed with leukaemia and had a bone marrow transplant. Since then - in another nutshell - he has gotten to the point where he could return to work a couple of times, and then another medical disaster would come along and knock him off his feet.
Lately, I think I've become extremely depressed. I believe this because I find I'm tired and emotional, whereas I usually have heaps of energy and feel I can manage our cirumstances. I know it was triggered by my husband spending 3 weeks back in hospital. I was absolutely run off my feet and only now are my emotions and feelings starting to come to the surface.
I used to see a therapist, but I stopped in the last year because I felt good again. I returned to work over a year ago and found my role both rewarding and pleasantly distracting. However, at the same time, the burden of being the breadwinner is overwhelming.
I also have zero family support. I'm American and my entire family lives overseas. My in-laws are absolutely useless to the point where I've been so disappointed, I've only now decided that I need a "break" from them and refuse to socialise with them. I call them "Fair Weather Family", as they sweep everything under the carpet and have never offered me any support whatsoever. As my husband has always been ill, it has also been difficult both financially and in respect to time to socialise like a normal 29-year-old, so I do not have many friends. Sometimes, I feel like I'm much older than I am; I find it difficult to relate to many people my age, so that doesn't help on the friend front, either.
I am a big fan of meditation and positive thinking, however, I can't even meditate lately because I am so angry and depressed over my situation. I used to feel thankful for everything in my life; now, I am full of resentment because I feel as though I will never have a family of my own, nor will we ever be able to buy a home. I watch my co-workers and peers moving on in their lives and we are just stuck in this horrible purgatory of hospital and survival. Sometimes, I feel like it will never end.
I feel awful and guilty complaining about these things; I always feel there is so much to be thankful for, so it is difficult to even write this. On the flip side, my husband has also been very emotionally-difficult lately and negative, which I feel he is entitled to but also poisons our marriage. I have contemplated divorce, but I don't really believe it's the solution. I know my feelings for divorce are only stemming from a need to resolve some of the angst caused by the situation and circumstances with which we deal.
If any of you can suggest a support group that meets in person, that would be fantastic. Any other advice would be appreciated. I live in Brisbane's southside and could really use some new tools to help me manage my feelings this time around. I found my last therapist was good, but she wasn't great, which makes me hesitant to spend the time and effort searching for a new one.
Thank you and much love to you all!
Re: Having Difficulty Coping as a Carer 3 Years Later
Not sure I can help re what is available in qld for counselling, perhaps someone from there is able to??
Don't feel guilty for your feelings. As someone who has suffered from cancer aswell as being a carer of my mother and son (he suffers depression) I know how hard it gets and we do resent people and the situation that we are in. THe good thing is that you are able to identify what is going on for you and having someone to talk to that can understand would be really helpful for you.
Cancer is one tough gig for the person diagnosed and also the carers. It is tough when you get recurrences and having to deal with those each time. Especially so when you think life is just about on a new normal track of some sort and then whammo!
I hope that you find something close to you that you can attend and am sure you will get lots of support on here.
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.