Leeza’s Caregiver Tip: Dealing with Guilt
Hi, I’m Leeza Gibbons. I’d like to share a caregiver tip for Philips Lifeline.
You know being a caregiver comes with a lot of guilt. When I was caring for my Mom, and even now for my Dad, I do it long distance, because I’m on the west coast and my parents’ life has always been on the east coast. And especially with my mom, I was consumed with guilt. When I was with her I felt guilty because I wasn’t doing enough or because of the other things I was missing. And when I was away from her, well, I felt guilty because I wasn’t there. I felt guilty because I was healthy. I even felt guilty when I didn’t feel guilt.
I’m telling you that guilt will eat you alive. It is no good for your caregiver journey. So a couple of things that worked for me: First, know that it’s normal. You think about all the great things your parent has done for you. It’s hard to live up to that. Just remind yourself you’re doing the best you can. You’re showing up here with love, with your best intention. And that means a lot. So why not try a mantra, yes, a mantra. I did. It really worked for me. I would just repeat to myself, “I love my Mom. I’m doing the best I can. I love my Mom. I’m doing the best I can.” So when I would walk, when I would do my chores, whatever, I would just say that over and over. And you know what, it really did begin to help because I believed it.
Caring for a loved one can be one of the most important things you do for that special person. I hope you’ll find the support that you need. It’s really the best advice I can give you, which is to reach out for support. You’re not alone.
For more caregiver advice and resources visit PhilipsLifeline.com.