I found this on the 'Navigating Cancer Site', the author is unknown.
I feel that this is such a good piece, as I know so many carer's who really need to know this.......
The Caregiver’s Bill Rights
I have the right to take care of myself. This is not an act of selfishness. It will give me the ability to take better care of my loved one.
I have the right to seek help from others even though my loved one may object. I know the limits of my own endurance and strength.
I have the right to maintain parts of my own life that do not include the person I care for, just as I would if they were healthy. I know that I do everything that I reasonably can do for this person. I have the right to do some things just for myself.
I have the right to get angry, be depressed, and express difficult feelings once in a while.
I have the right to reject any attempt by my loved one to make me do things out of guilt or anger. (It doesn’t matter if they know they’re doing it or not.)
I have the right to get consideration, affection, forgiveness, and acceptance for what I do for my loved one, as I offer these in return.
I have the right to take pride in what I’m doing. And I have the right to applaud the courage it has taken to meet the needs of my loved one.
I have the right to protect my individuality. I also have the right to a life that will sustain me in times when my loved one no longer needs my full-time help
This is me talking now!
It is so easy to allow caring for some one else to take over your life!
There is a tendency to feel guilty if you want to do some thing for yourself, and, some times the ‘cared for’ or other people close to the situation can make you feel as if you are abdicating from your responsibilities
.It is important to remember that you need to be on ‘top form’ to care for some one
.This is how I see it……(having cared for some one for 18 years).
When you are born, you come with a bucket full of stuff to give………all good stuff.
As life goes on, you give from the bucket, and you and others put things in your bucket.
The plan is that your bucket remains full.
When you care for some one, you give from your bucket,
If you don't do stuff that you like, and people don't give positive stuff back to you, you bucket becomes empty.
Ok, now you have an empty bucket............so what happens?…..
There is nothing more to give!
This is when you become depressed and unhappy, this is when you loose yourself.
You have to keep filling your bucket with good stuff and others need to put stuff in too, then you will always have some thing to give. It may sound daft, but that is how I see it.