Training for the caregiver-to-caregiver (C2C) course with Caregivers Alliance Limited (CAL) teaches me something new every lesson. One of them that caregivers often lose themselves as their life revolves around nothing but their sick loved ones.
Every first lesson, caregivers are paired up, they tell each other things about themselves, and then they share with the class things their partner told them, and vice versa. What I have noticed is that everybody talked about their loved ones, and discussed nothing about themselves. It seems like these caregivers have forgotten themselves; they have taken on the role of a caregiver, abandoning their identity in the process because their lives revolve around their loved one and nothing more.
While it is undeniable that the loved one plays a major role in the caregiver’s life, the caregiver is so much more than just a caregiver. (S)he is a child, a spouse, a friend, a parent, a dreamer, a painter, a musician… The list goes on. It is sad to see people neglecting themselves in the process of caring for their loved ones.
The well-being of caregivers become insignificant because they are only concerned about the well-being of their loved ones. This is honourable and a great sacrifice, but also damaging in the long run. A caregiver whose life revolves around the loved one might face burnout from the overwhelming stress without an outlet. This then prevents the caregiver from being the best caregiver (s)he can be, affecting the loved one greatly.