Coping with stress

My stress levels have been progressively increasing over the last few weeks. To the point, now, where they’re at intolerable levels. I’ve been mildly unwell for weeks, and now have what the specialist thinks is eczema spreading like wildfire. I’m grateful that the rash isn’t some horrible disease, but I’ve never had it before and can’t help thinking it’s stress related.

I’m quite sure spending the last few weeks packing up my mother’s house hasn’t helped my stress levels. Nor has having her officially move in with me. She’s been living with me for months, but now it’s formal and proper, or getting that way, and my once cute little house is filled with her stuff as well as mine … there’s barely room for either of us to move. And there’ still more stuff to come! Then there’s work which is busy and pressured. I like the work, I like the people I work with, but I’m finding it incredibly difficult to keep all the balls juggling in the air. The one for me; the ball for my life pretty much dropped long ago. Which is another obvious source of intolerable stress. And then there’s therapy – that’s a whole other chapter, just there. I’m learning a lot at the moment, but the PNT is also pushing me in ways I’m finding really difficult, and it’s all just adding to the stress I feel.

Take today, for example. It was raining when I woke, and I immediately had a little party inside, thinking it was the perfect day to loll about and potter and do not much. Of course that didn’t happen because I ended up running errands for Mum, and trying to put some of her things away, and tidying up my own mess, and catching up on chores… and when I finally did get to sit down this afternoon, I turned the TV on to watch my favourite show and do some knitting (a new thing, it’s great… but more on that later). My mother had barely said a word all day and yet took this opportunity to prattle on about every little thing, and seemingly nothing at the same time. I’m ashamed to say I lost it once or twice and snapped at her. But, for god’s sake!!!!! All I wanted was 30 mins of quiet time with my favourite TV show. Is that really too much to ask?

Everything feels so crowded. I have no space. Not physically, mentally or emotionally. I feel muddled and messy and streeeeetched. And squashed in on all fronts. I just want to run away. I’ve learned from PNT that I excel at the flight thing, so I guess it’s logical for me. Will that help? Probably not, but I can’t think of anything else to do. I’ve looked at my schedules and there’s just nothing that can give, time wise. I’m trying to sort the house out, but that will take time. And short of gagging Mum, I’m just not sure what to do with her. And then there’s work. And therapy.

It’s all too much. I’m at wits end.


5 thoughts on “Coping with stress

  1. Oh, sweetie — this is much, much too much.

    Do you have any friends who would let you, say, have a quiet space or time in their homes? I’m thinking of this because I offered it to a couple of my own friends who were in similar situations as caregivers … I gave them a key to my house, and said hey, come over when you need to; it’s safe here. Is there anyone who could provide that space for you, since it’s no longer available in your home?

  2. In addition to finding quiet spaces, do they have carer support agencies over there? You should be able to find them through the cancer society, or through the hospital. There’s also things like respite care for your mother, which might be an option as a way to give you both space. PNT might also be aware of different support options available to you… Don’t be afraid to ask around – either at the hospital where your mother was being treated, through the different societies, or your GP.

    There’s huge amounts of literature on the stress that caring for family provokes, so don’t think that you have to do this all yourself, or that you are blowing things out of proportion.

    Have you formed some “house rules” with your mother? Maybe you need to include some no-go areas, or quiet times? Just a suggestion…

    Take care of yourself,

  3. Hi David – yea, it is much, much too much. I’m at the end of my rope. I do have a friend who’s offered me space and time in her home, which would be just lovely. I don’t have a key, but she’s said “anytime”. I do have a key for another friend’s place but she had a hissy fit when I was unable to go to her birthday party a few weeks ago and now isn’t talking to me. Sigh.

    Hi Alice – thank you. I’m trying. 😉

    Hi Castorgirl – we do have carer support agencies, I hadn’t thought of that. Thanks for the suggestion. They get me a free ticket if I take Mum to the movies, yay! Will they buy me a new couch so I can lie down on the one that is now covered in my mother’s cr@p? Will they teach Mum to stop being narky about the temperature of the water in the shower? I know I’m being sarcastic, sorry… I’m just at the end of my tether.

    PNT? I’m so freakin mad at her this week. I don’t even understand why. Just MAD. It may have something to do with her just wanting me to understand Mum’s perspective… like I don’t think about that all the time already. DOH!

    House rules? If I can get through Mum complaining about how that must mean I want her to move into the shed, then house rules would be great 🙂 All my therapists (the WT, Back Up and PNT) have suggested I have more quiet time in my room. There’s some reason I can’t, but I’m not sure what it is. I mean there’s some internal resistance but I can’t tap into it, if that makes sense.

    Thanks for your support, sorry I’m being narky myself today 😉

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