It sounds like an easy process.
You love someone. You look after them. You help them and you care for them.
But I won’t be the first person to tell you that caring for someone you care about is not easy. It is actually one of the most trying situations someone can deal with.
For the past six months it has been my situation. And I have never known so much emotional and physical strain.
My dad has always been unwell. But around six months ago his health started getting worse. His body started giving in to his many illnesses, liver failure being just one of them. And he started to need care. Badly.
He couldn’t walk, his memory started lapsing and he was in and out of hospital. He needed help, but refused to get anyone in. So my sister and I stepped in.
We started helping him dress his sores. Started cooking the specific foods he required. Started helping him in and out of the shower and in and out of bed. Our days and nights were filled with meeting his needs. Most of the time we were too consumed by those day-to-day tasks to worry about ourselves. Then cold sores began to appear. My nose began to turn into a dripping tap. And my mental state went completely downhill.
Emotionally I was incredibly exhausted. It was a feeling I’d never known before. Little things, like going out and socialising, became impossible.
I lost contact with many friends because I just couldn’t comprehend thinking about anyone else than dad. But when people asked me how he was, I didn’t want to talk about it. I started blocking things out. Blocking people out. And then I started to feel alone.
It came in phases. Because I was spending every living moment with my father, I didn’t have time for myself. I didn’t even have time to think about myself. But I knew the outside world was still carrying on – and then I started feeling sorry for myself.