The 7 Deadly Emotions of Caregiving: How to Cope

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Nobody would ever choose a smiley face as the perfect symbolic emoticon for a caregiver. Caregiving for an ailing loved one is just too stressful -- often triggering damaging emotions that can not only undermine your good work but harm your health, as well. Here's how to cope:

Caregiver Emotion Trap #1: Guilt

Guilt is virtually unavoidable as you try to "do it all."

What causes guilt: Guilt stems from doing or saying what you believe is the wrong thing, not doing what you perceive to be enough, or otherwise not behaving in the "right" way, whether or not your perceptions are accurate. Caregivers often burden themselves with a long list of self-imposed "oughts," "shoulds," and "musts." A few examples: I must avoid putting Mom in a nursing home. I ought to visit every day. I shouldn't lose my temper with someone who has dementia.

Risks of caregiver guilt: Caregiver guilt is an especially corrosive emotion because you're beating yourself up over faults that are imagined, unavoidable -- or simply human. That's counterproductive at a time when you need to be your own best advocate.

SEE ALSO: Find In-Home Care Help Near You

What you can do: Lower your standards from ideal to real; aim for a B+ in the many aspects of your life rather than an across-the-board A+. When guilt nags, ask yourself what's triggering it: A rigid "ought"? An unrealistic belief about your abilities? Above all, recognize that caregiver guilt is virtually unavoidable. Because your intentions are good but your time, resources, and skills are limited, you're just plain going to feel guilty sometimes -- so try to get comfortable with that gap between perfection and reality instead of beating yourself up over it.

Caregiver Emotion Trap #2: Resentment

This emotion is still so taboo that many caregivers are loathe to admit it.

What causes resentment: Caregivers often feel put-upon and upset because of imagined slights by others, including siblings and adult children who don't do enough to help. Caregiver resentment is especially felt toward the person being cared for, when the caregiver's life feels hijacked by responsibility and out of his or her own control.

Risks of resentment: Without enough support or noncaregiving outlets, feelings of being ignored, abandoned, or criticized can fester into anger and depression.

SEE ALSO: Find In-Home Care Help Near You

What you can do: Simply naming this tricky emotion to a trusted confidante can bring some release. Try venting to a journal or anonymous blog. Know that resentment is a very natural and common response to long-term caregiving, especially if your work life, marriage, health, or outside activities are compromised as a result. Know, too, that you can feel this complicated emotion yet still be a good person and a good caregiver.

Caregiver Emotion Trap #3: Anger

Some people outwardly show their anger more than others, but almost no one is never angry.

What causes anger: We get mad for reasons both direct (a balky loved one, an unfair criticism, one too many mishaps in a day) and indirect (lack of sleep, frustration over lack of control, pent-up disappointment).

Risks of anger: Chronic anger and hostility have been linked to high blood pressure, heart attack and heart disease, digestive-tract disorders, and headaches. Anger that builds up unexpressed can lead to depression or anxiety, while anger that explodes outward can jeopardize relationships and even harm others. Managing caregiver anger not only helps your well-being but makes you less likely to take out your fury on your loved one.

What you can do: Rather than trying to avoid anger, learn to express it in healthy ways. Simple deep-breathing exercises can channel mounting anger into a calmer state, for example. Talk yourself down with soothing chants: It's okay. Let it go. Ask yourself if there's a constructive solution to situations that make you angry: Is a compromise possible? Would being more assertive (which is different from anger) help you feel a sense of control? Laughing at absurdities and idiotic behavior can provide a healthier biological release than snapping.

Caregiver Emotion Trap #4: Worry

A little goes a long way, but sometimes we can't turn off the fretting.

What causes worry: Good intentions, love, and wanting the best for your loved ones are the wellsprings of worry. Focusing intensely on the what-ifs provides a perverse kind of comfort to the brain: If we're worrying, we're engaged. Of course, that ultimately triggers more worry and upset because it's engagement without accomplishing anything.

Risks of worry: Being concerned is harmless. Overworry and obsessing, however, can disrupt sleep, cause headaches and stomach aches, and lead to mindless eating or undereating.

What you can do: If you notice worrying thoughts interfering with getting through the day or sleeping at night, force a break to the cycle. Try setting a timer and resolving to focus on something else when the five minutes is up. Then flip negative thoughts to their productive side: How can you help? Who can you call? Are there possible solutions? And don't be shy about seeking out a trained counselor to help you express and redirect obsessive ruminations more constructively.

Caregiver Emotion Trap #5: Loneliness

Your world can shrink almost before you realize what's happened.

What causes loneliness: Friends may back away out of uncertainty or a belief they aren't wanted. Intense time demands lead you to drop out of outside activities. If you're dealing with dementia, the loss of your loved one's former level of companionship is another keenly felt social loss adding to [isolation][2].

Risks of loneliness: Your very brain is altered: People with large, rich social networks have different brain structures, new research finds. Loneliness seems to curb willpower and the ability to persevere, and it can lead to overeating, smoking, and overuse of alcohol. Lonely people also have more cortisol, the stress hormone. And social isolation is a risk factor for dementia.

What you can do: Expand your social circles, real and virtual. Arrange respite help, so you can add at least one outside activity, such as one you've dropped. Take the initiative to reach out to old friends and invite them over if you can't get out easily. Consider joining a support group related to caregiving or your loved one's illness. In online support groups, you can find kinship with those who know just what you're going through.

Caregiver Emotion Trap #6: Grief

Don't think this one applies yet? Think again.

What causes grief: Although most people link grief with death, anticipatory grief is a similar emotion felt by caregivers who are coping with a loved one's long-term chronic illness, especially when there are clear losses of ability (as in dementia) or when the diagnosis is almost certainly terminal.

Risks of grief:"Long good-byes" can trigger guilt as well as sadness if one mistakenly believes that it's inappropriate to grieve someone still alive. Mourning the loss of a beloved companion is also a risk factor for depression.

What you can do: Know that your feelings are normal and as painful as "real" (postmortem) grief. Allow yourself to feel sadness and express it to your loved one as well as to supportive others; pasting on a happy face belies the truth and can be frustrating to the person who knows he or she is ill or dying. Make time for yourself so that you're living a life outside of caregiving that will support you both now and later.

Caregiver Emotion Trap #7: Defensiveness

Protecting yourself is good -- to a point.

What causes defensiveness: When you're doing so much, it's only natural to bristle at suggestions that there might be different or better approaches. Especially if you're feeling stressed, insecure, or unsure, hearing comments or criticisms by others, or reading information that's contrary to your views, can inspire a knee-jerk response of self-protection: "I'm right; that's wrong!"

Risks of defensiveness: While nobody knows your loved one and your situation as well as you do, being overly defensive can make you closed-minded. You risk losing out on real help. You may be so close to the situation that you can't see the forest for the trees, for example; a social worker or friend may have a perspective that points to what really might be a better way.

What you can do: Try not to take everything you hear personally. Instead of immediately getting cross or discarding others' input, vow to pause long enough to consider it. Remember the big picture. Is there merit in a new idea, or not? What you're hearing as a criticism of you might be a well-intentioned attempt to help your loved one. You may decide things are fine as is, and that's great. But if you start from a point of calm and confidence, the focus becomes (as it should be) your loved one, not you.

Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and much of the Alzheimer's and caregiving content on Caring. See full bio

about 1 month, said...

Earlier today, a member of our community posted a sad and disturbing comment on this page that has now been removed. We have taken action to assist this individual in seeking help offline as soon as possible.

3 months, said...

Thanks for this article. My wife is now ill for 8 years and I am trying my best to keep everything together. Every trap is so applicable to me and I will try all of this to cope!

3 months, said...

Thank you. It's so helpful to just hear that the way you are feeling is "normal". I have been feeling anger toward my mom's situation and especially have been dealing with anticipitory grief and guilt for several years now. My mom has been sick with one thing or another all my life whether real or exaggerated. That's how she got attention from my dad. He's been gone for 34 yrs and she does the same with everyone else in our family. I am the major caregiver. I'm struggling with health issues of my own. My sister helps some, but very little. I'm taking a vacation soon but feel guilty about leaving. I'm going to try to have fun and enjoy the break.

4 months, said...

This article is spot on! My worst feeling is guilt. On December 22, 2017 I lost my wife Bonnie after 35 years together. She was the kindest most caring person you could ever meet. When we met it was "Love at first sight' ; everything in the room disappeared except for her eyes and mine. After that we were joined at the hip, I have a scar on my right hip and she has a scar on her left. It is like we must have spent a previous lifetime together. Half of me is missing. I have been researching things like why no alarm when her heart stopped. She was on 2 blood pressure meds and one was Metoprolol which was used to keep her heart beat down because she had an arrhythmia. The day she died she complained of her heart beating hard and the nurse said the doctor had stopped the Metoprolol. This med cannot be just stopped or people die from heart attacks. If I had known more about the Metoprolol I could have brought her meds from home and saved her life. She had also left a message at home for me at about 8:45pm asking please to pickup, but I missed it. I was home but did not hear the phone. If I had spoken with her I know she would have asked me to get over to the hospital and help her. The nurses were being nasty to her because they did not like having to change the pads when she urinated in the bed. They would let her lie in her own urine for over half an hour and acted like it was no big deal. Anyway long story, I feel awful. The mornings are the worse and I cry everyday. I lite a candle in front of her picture each night and apologize. I don't go out except for food. Bill collectors want money. Closure would be for the hospital to admit their mistake and the doctor to lose his license. The doctor did not even call me after the event and to this day I never met the man. I am afraid that I am going to crack. After all there is nothing to live for anyway. She needed that medication.. She was not hospitalized for a heart issue. She was hospitalized for hemorrhoids and skin tags on the outside of her rectum that were diagnosed as squamish cell cancer. She would have big trouble stopping the bleeding when wiping in the bathroom and the bleeding was getting worse to the point of becoming severely anemic and needing blood. she was hospitalized four times from November 15 to December 22. They kept discharging her on a Friday and she was always back on a Monday. She was a good girl she had a kidney transplant from a cadaver that she maintained for 23 years. She took her meds at the same time everyday, but while in the hospital they switched up meds and gave them anytime they felt was convenient. If her doctor of 33 years had not retired she would be alive today. He believed that if it was not broken don't fix it. He would have made sure her meds were maintained. But if I had just answered the phone I could have gone to the hospital and advocated for her. If hospital security had gotten involved I would have called the sheriff. I had a couple of go arounds with a nasty charge nurse which resulted in her getting reprimanded an security would hang around when I would visit. I have a lot of patience, but I can't abide a liar. Why do these people all back each other up? The nerve to say "Well she was 72 and had a lot of problems" when she had just passed was classless. She died and I did not need to hear an excuse. They were wrong about her meds and someone was not watching the monitors. I was called a 6am to be told she was not responding. 6am is bed check time and in critical care they need to check patients twice to 3 times an hour and alarms should not be silenced. The excuse now for the hospital deaths is "Alarm Fatigue" and not enough nurses. Solution is hire more nurses (RN) and create business rules that do not allow for alarm silencing and if a main nurse station is found not manned the nurse should be fired on the spot. If people are dying then they have to pay the piper and hire more staff or take less patients.

4 months, said...

Nice article, i will bookmark this. Please keep on sharing.

5 months, said...

William I would suggest you check with your state Dept of Human Services and see what you state and county has that might help you and your wife. I would think you would qualify for disability and social security for yourself. I am 62 and just started getting my social security. It sounds like your dr's would have reasons to support you in applying for disability. At least in our state they have waivers which my husband has a brain injury waiver and if you qualified for an ill and handicapped waiver or any other one you would be eligible for medicaid which provides home health care. I would think your wife would qualify also. I'd check out anything that is possible where you live, You can ask your dr for advice and any info on getting help. I hope you find some help for much longer.

5 months, said...

I know people who feel these feelings from caring for adult children and the grandkids. Often this is because of drugs, mental illness and/or unemployment. The older adult looked forward to retiring and instead they are consumed with worry about the survival of these family members. They often invite them to live with them till they "Get it together" and then no one moves forward.

6 months, said...

My wife has Secondary Progressive M.S.. She was diagnosed 34 years ago. WE have been married for 41 years. She had a fall 7 months ago and shattered her right femur. She had surgery to have a metal plate and screws put in her leg. Through the years She has experienced every symptom you can think of. She has had both hips and both shoulders replaced. A nerve rerouted in her left arm. Emergency appendectomy, that due to lack of feeling, caused an abscess and had to have part of her colon removed. I could go on and on. Let's get to today. She is at a point in which she is essentially bedridden. She is 62 and I am 63. I have Coronary Artery Disease, Peripheal Artery Disease, 4 bad discs and a cyst on my spine. I suffer from depression and panic attacks and so does my wife. She has dementia. She cannot get out of bed and into her wheelchair alone most of the time. I have to help her out of bed, into her wheelchair, go about 3 feet, help her out of her wheelchair and onto the bedside commode, help her stand slightly so I can pull down her pull-ups. When she is dome, I have to help her stand a bit, pull up her pull-ups, and help her back into the wheelchair, Then back into bed, help her get her legs in bed, and help position her so she can lie down. She has occasional accidents in bed, both wetting and bowel, which means I have to strip everything and clean everything up. I cook all meals, do laundry, clean house, take care of home and yard maintenance on 4 1/4 acres of land out in the country. I cannot get her to shower, so she just gets sponge baths from me. I cannot get her into our van, so I am trying to find a service that can take her with her wheelchair to doctor visits. Often times when I go to the store or pharmacy, she calls me to find out how long I will be gone. We live around 30 minutes one way from town. I recently quit work as my Cardiologist suggested, as I have been hospitalized 4 times in 7 months. Twice to have stents put in my Coranary Arteries, as one of those times my heart actually skipped too many beats and stopped while I was out. I had to have CPR and emergency care. We cannot afford home health at all. I am currently awaiting word on my filing for SS Disability. My wife has been receiving S S D for several years, and has Medicare, but she only gets about $730.00 a month. We are in debt past our ears, but have about $40,000.00 in equity in our house. I feel horrible even thinking about it, but is it time for her to be placed in a Nursing Home? We really don't eat properly. I don't sleep properly and neither does she. I take medication for Angina, as well as a host of other ailments. There are many times where I feel I will not live another year at the current pace I am having to be in. Wfhat does anyone think?

6 months, said...

I am currently taking care of my mom, who has suffered from psychological flare ups all her life. Whenever something, as she sees it, goes haywire, she freaks out and suddenly gets delusional and it last years. This is her 3rd go round with it. It started off with her going down a one way street (which she has taken numerous times before) so it was completely out of the oridinary. This was in June 2016. My dad then passed away later that month on the 24th. I moved my mom in with me because she developed severe anxiety and could no longer do the normal day to day things that she did before. Driving, cooking, bathing, etc. It was like a full dementia patient overnight. It's now Jan. 2018 and over 2017 we lost 3 more people in our family. My grandmother in May, right after my daughters bday and right before my mothers. My grandmother was like a mom to my mom, so her loss was huge for both of us. I went to Kansas City and sat vigil by her bedside and held her hand as she took her last breath. After her funeral we were in a car accident that put my mom, sister, and uncle in the hospital. My uncle alter died from his injuries this last Aug. 24th. My oldes brother, passed away the very next morning while on an anual camping trip. I seen him just hours before his death, which was a freak chance, since we had spent the prior 2 1/2 months fighting and not talking. SO.... this last 2 yrs has been hell for me. I took care of my grandmother, moved her out of her apt of 40 plus years and moved her into a nursing home because she too had now gotten dementia and could no longer live alone. This was so hard because my grandmother was 90 years old and still VERY independent! I flew from KC- CA and back numerous times for my father as his health declined and he landed in the hospital 5 times in 1 year. When he died I handled his miliitary funeral by myself. When my grandmother died, I handled her funeral arrangements, myself. And when my undle died, I too handled his funeral arrangements, myself. Yes, I had family, a brother still alive and a sister in KC. I was angry because neither chose to assist me. Now my brother's gone and that resentment and anger turned to guilt. I miss him more than anyone. Anyway, my mom's been living with me since June 2016, and things are insane. About a month ago I had to place her on a 51/50 hold to get her the help she needed! She had been turned away and released at 2 am from a mental hospital prior to this, simply because the psychiatrist on duty didn't think she "Belonged here!) My mom had taken of more than 7 times from my house while i was gone at school, and the police had to form search parties to find her each time. Luckily they always did. She almost got hit by a car, because she was in the street looking for me to come home ( her anxiety got out of hand this day, again!) Stories like this just kept happening and I kept asking and searching for someone to help, but NOONE was there! So, after yet another trip to the ER, one Dr. finally listened. She got some help and on some medication and she's doing MUCH better, but now she's doing other things that are driving me coo-coo! Drinking straight from the cartons, trying to make coffee, but pouring water all over the counter instead of in the machine (did I mention she also has stage 4 glaucoma)., she won't stope eating- every 5 mins she tries to put something in her mouth!) So, I now have a locekd fridge and a locked pantry in my own home. Sad... UGH. She has to bathed, I administer her medications, I dress her, I cook for her, I driver her everywhere, manage her Dr appts., bills, rent (yes she still has her own apt, but doesnt' live there!- I know stupid... but that too will be taken care of - I also have another younger, disabled, brother that lived with my mother, who now lives with my sister in KC.) My mom's care is a constant struggle. I am starting to feel my overwhelmed and I know this is NOT what I want to do forever. But, I also don't want to throw my mom into some home where she's abused. My mom has lost her ability to talk, only says 1-2 words through a list of stutters. She's congnitively like a 4 year old and she's starting to need more care than I think I can provide. But I feel absolutely guilty. I told my mom I'd always take care of her. I have 3 kids of my own, I'm a full time student in college, and I am pursuing a psychology degree. I feel trapped with my mom here now because she's reached a point where I can no longer leave her alone. Once my kids go back to school from xmas break and my semester starts up again, I am lost. My brothers gone and I have no more family here in CA. Medicare swiped all my grandmother's savings in order to put her in a home, where they only stole from her. Most people were nice, but as everywhere you go, you always get one asshole. So, that scares me. If my mom can't express herself or ask for help, how would anyone know if she was being abused in a home? This is what I struggle with. I would never forgive myself if she was harmed. But how do I keep myself from losing control. I'm starting to feel irritated. I feel I no longer have control over my own life and where it's headed. I feel she is in control of my every move, becuase it is me that has to care for her. What she needs, she gets. Not me anymore. I don't want to hate my mom for this!! I love her. Her dementia (which still has Drs baffled and don't know whether to call it dementia or psychosis) has gotten pretty bad. She can't remember anything anymore, yet still wants to be so independent!!! I don't know if I can strip away another woman's independence and place her in a single room, where noone will come and talk to her. (Yes, this is how it is). I watched this continuously with my grandmother, and she was in an excellent place. It was just to busy of a place for any sit down conversation sessions, and that was something my grandmother wanted so bad. She only got it when I was there or when my dad would call her on the phone. But then he died and I moved back to CA and had to talk to her long distance. LONG story.... I'm rambling. What it boils down to I guess, is this. I feel guilty, but I need my own life back. However, is this just what I think I need, or will this ultimately wind up to be something I regret for the rest of my life...??? The family I had and knew just 19 months ago, no longer exists. I went from celebrating my 40th bday in Hawaii in June 2016 to losing 4 of the most important people in my life. I don't even have my mom to support me, emotionally, anymore. That's hard at only 41 years old. For years I've struggled to keep my family together between KC and CA, and now that's all history. I can't say that I miss that part, there is so much more to this story.... but I miss the one's I love. Every person that died was unexpected to a point. My dad had emphazema for years and was declining, my grandmother was 93 when she finally had the fall that broke her hip and killed her, my uncle died from complications of the wreck, and we still don't know what happened to my brother. I'm struggling with just putting the pieces of me back together, and trying to care for my mom. It can get so emotionally draining.

6 months, said...

I found this site after awaken myself from an awful nightmare, triggered by the deep dark feelings of my current depression of caregiving for my mom. I have been taking care of her for 6 years now. She has Dementia currently going through the phases of struggling with speech and unable to dress herself, among several other difficulties. I'm at the point now of resentment, guilt, isolation and suicidal thoughts. I never would have thought that caring for someone else and being a good daughter would have such a negative impact in my own life/health. Without having any respite or help, my negative thoughts and depression are beginning to get the best of me! I try to seek help but no avail. I'm wondering, How you are doing and coping Zac from your last message 3 months ago? I feel like I maybe on the same path, of needing my freedom but when I do have it, I may just abuse it and spiral in more darkness. It's a constant struggle in my mind and I feel the frustration and anger building up. The complexity of the caring is extremely difficult and at the same time, my mom is my best friend, and means the world to me.

7 months, said...

YES- All of them describe my life right now.

8 months, said...

I'm feeling a lot of the anger and resentment taking care of my 83 year old father who has not always been so nice to me in my teen years and adult life. He had a series of mini strokes about 17 years ago, and apparently had a heart attack around 2003-2004 and had triple bypass surgery. The list of his ailments is a mile long and includes untreated Diabetes, diabetic neuropathy, peripheral artery disease, nerve damage from his strokes that left him unable to take a shower or a bath, swollen feet and ankles from Diabetes, going deaf from decades of working with power tools, going blind from cataracts, gout in feet and hands (he has a huge golf ball size knob on his thumb knuckle that he refuses to get 'scraped' off under local anesthesia), one kidney smaller than the other, spinal stenosis, a dead spot on his brain from the strokes, Stage 3 congestive heart failure, can barely walk because he's in so much pain and out of breath, and though he's always had some mental health issues all his life, I'm pretty sure he's entering the stages of Dementia. He's very argumentative, has problem communicating, and gets angry when he can't communicate and blames it on the person he's trying to talk to. I recently talked with my uncle, who is the executor of my father's Trust, and my uncle said he sympathizes with me having to deal with my dad because my uncle knows how my dad behaves. At least I have some emotional support in the family. But it's really a struggle day to day because I can't carry on a conversation with my dad for fear he'll just explode in anger because he took what I've said out of context. So, I just go about my business and try to ignore him while he sleeps all day and night. But when I go to bed, I can hear him 'clomping' around on his heavy swollen feet at about 2:00 a.m., then around 4 or 5 a.m., then again around 7 or 8 a.m. and then it's quiet around 9 a.m., and he sleeps until about 2:oo p.m. I am a light sleeper, but I have a fan running for 'white noise' to drown out dad's extremely loud television. He has the TV on even when he's sleeping, but usually turns it off when he's clomping around at around 2 or 3 a.m. I am not going to feel guilty for wishing he would just die and get it over with. He's been griping and groaning for 17 years that he's going to 'die tomorrow'. He sold off a majority of his belongings except for house, tractor, and car because he thought he was going to die all those years ago. His condition is much worse than it was 2 years ago when I moved back in with him. He can't go out and do any work in the garage anymore. He is a prisoner to his recliner chair. He can't sleep in a bed, and hasn't for about 10-15 years. I don't know why he is just lingering and lingering in agony and suffering. I don't know why he keeps holding on. Dad was forced to have a doctor's appointment about 2 months ago because his prescription for Lovastatin was running out and the only way the prescription could be renewed is if he saw his doctor. He begrudgingly went. They did blood work. Then they told him to come back in a month for blood work and a Doppler study. He did. And yesterday, his cardiologist's office called and wanted him to have blood work done 3 times next month and to see his primary doctor. This makes me think that something very serious is going on and this could be an indication that he may not have much longer. And in some ways, I hope that's the case, because I can't stand to see him suffer any more and I also can't wait to get my life back. So, I watch this shell of a man who was once a strapping 6'4" and now withered down to about 5'10", but heavier than he was in his 40s. And he's miserable and that makes me miserable. I am trying to take care of myself through all of this. I am trying to exercise, eat right, make sure my quality of life in my 80s will be much better than my dad's. But the depression kicks in. Depression is often pent up anger, so it's a double edged sword we as live in caretakers must deal with. I've been a lifetime sufferer of depression, so I'm dealing with my own battles, but taking care of a father who is dying a slow, miserable death has given me a bigger struggle to deal with. I just wish the good Lord would take him soon and take him in his sleep so he doesn't have to suffer.

8 months, said...

how are you all doing now? I wondered if the holidays are going to be a problem for you. My dad passed away Dec 6 1990 and his birthday is Dec 31st. Dec is still a tough time for my mom and me. Time does make it easier to deal with these feelings but it never goes away because he is still in my thoughts almost every day. IF you are struggling with depression as many of us do you should try to find something to hang on to. when I get into my dark place I think about my grandson Jake and my granddaughter Rachel. they are both very loving and lots of hugs and concern for me. so I push out the bad feelings and remember all the good times with them. I visualize a drain and I let my bad feelings slide down the drain. I also pray a lot. How you feel is a choice. It may not seem like it but it is. I used to tell my kids you choose to get angry. Noone makes you angry. They can't make you angry if you choose not to be. You are in total control of your emotions. They are only allowed free rein if you choose to let them. However I have been in the mind set where I wasn't willing to let go of my anger or frustrations. I care about you and hope you have some fun and excitement though out the holidays. I wish you all Sunshine and Laughter and May God Bless You and Keep You in His Hands. May He give you peace and joy and love and surround you with comfort when you need it.

10 months, said...

Well people... I used to write about about taking care of my mom, and not being able to travel, not having the freedom to do what I want. It's never really as simple as that -- my mom passed away in March. I took care of her my entire life, but now that she's gone, do I enjoy my "freedom"? Not really. I'm actually abusing the so-called freedom and gotten into drinking. Now there's no one to question me why I came home late ... or not at all. I have no one to chat with in the late evenings .. mom used to give even a feeble smile at my jokes trying to please her. I miss that and have taken to drinking to cope with my loneliness ... coming not out of necessarily missing her, but just being alone. From what I see, care-taking can get quite complex -- you can't live WITH them, you can't live WITHOUT them..