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Being a Carer – how hard can that be?

Being a carer for husband is exhausting

You know what it’s like to be a carer. Or at least you think you do. It’s just looking after someone else, how hard can that be? … RIGHT.

Well just take a moment to sit and think. Caring is not a choice it’s a lifestyle. You need to have all your wits about you just to make it through the dark days. Not just yours but who you are caring for too. Those moments. NO, every moment affects you.

You think caring sounds easy. You think caring means sitting on your bum having a lovely life. Being paid less then you can ever dream to live on. While society deems you as a lazy person because all you do is care.

Take a little time to step into my shoes. My life is hard. For disabilities and mental health there are days out. Rest bite. Care in the community. Cheap day tickets to places. What do carers get. NOTHING.

I’m not complaining. I love who I care for but their dark days are also my dark days and shock horror I get bad days too. I have thoughts, feelings, dreams, but all these are on stand by because the person I care for needs help every day.

I don’t get time off. I don’t get to follow my dreams. I don’t even get ask how I am coping. What I may need. These all come second place. These are unimportant. Just because I care for someone. Those persons needs become more important then my own.

If you’re a Carer you sign over your life. You live for two people and then you wonder why you are tired all the time. It’s almost impossible to administer self care because bad days are bad days and they need fixing. You’re the carer so it’s now your duty to fix them.

You can’t go out alone because you can’t leave who you care for unattended in case something happens to them and then you’re filled with guilt for not doing your duty.

It’s easy to pass judgement. It’s easy to look like ‘I’ve got this’ and most of the time I have. Most of the time life ticks by nicely because it’s been planned one week in advance.

BUT
Sometimes I cry myself to sleep at night because I feel like I have no freedom. I feel trapped because my dreams have to come second. I feel emotionally drained from propping up those that need me. I feel empty because I have given all the love I can give but there’s still a hand asking for more.

I shy away from activities because I’m too tired to participate. I hide from the world because I find it hard to be true to who I am. The list of TO DO’s keeps on growing. I don’t have time to make friends because I’m too busy making others happy.

Caring can be an isolated life. People forget you. People misunderstand you. People can hurt you with comments. BUT we FIGHT for not just ourselves or those we care for but misunderstood carers everywhere.

If it’s one thing we have in common it’s that we actually CARE. So please be good to your carer. They are there for you but be mindful that they also need time to be themselves.

Thank you for reading. Keep being strong <3 xx

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How being a Carer meant I discovered my creativity

Carer discovered creative crafting online craft supplies shop

My name is Lucy and I was introduced to Conscious Crafties by the amazing Karen Thomas (what a fantastic job she is doing, running this website and shouting out for fellow chronic creatives, I think its fab). I don’t have a chronic illness myself, and my story has developed over the last 4 years after losing my mum and then caring for my dad. Which at times I loved and other times felt the drain, the drain of being his emotional rock and making sure his wellbeing was top of my agenda. This then put pressure on my own wellbeing and family. But I loved him and wouldn’t change anything I helped him with, and like they say, and I’m a big believer of….every cloud has a silver lining! From this difficult time in my life I learnt to find my escape and my inner peace, this came in the form of sewing. I sewed at every spare minute I could find and quickly started making for friends and family and as these requests grew I launched my small business Madebylucy that I run from Facebook and Instagram.

This really took off and I was finding such joy making gorgeous cushions and bunting and a whole host of other handmade goodies for others. Hosting Madebylucy parties in people’s homes and attending craft fairs and school fetes.

Then after losing my dad I felt that I would like to share this passion with others and get more people creating and using craft as an escape, and to meet new people, helping them do something that they thought they couldn’t possibly do. So I set up an evening sewing group, a relaxed informal group that would meet weekly, and from posting on my Facebook page an item that we would be making all people had to do was turn up. This has proven really popular and so I expanded further. I now also run an online sewing and craft supplies shop to help people find affordable, fun and inspirational products to give people a chance to have a go, buy from a person they may know, and from one that has a love for the products and uses them in their own work. (AKA ME!)

My online shop is my real passion that with my sewing group and my desire to grow my sewing classes to encourage more people to have a go. I am looking to hold these in my local community, using community buildings that are easy to get to and that don’t feel too daunting to attend.

birdie buttons
Birdie Buttons

Well that’s my story so far and I am super excited about all my future plans I have, and would equally love for you to visit my Instagram page to see what I’m up to or have a browse in my online shop at Ribbon and Thread maybe you’ll come across something gorgeous you just can’t live without! ?

If you’d like to follow me even more, then I have a monthly newsletter that I ping into people’s inboxes at the end of each month. I include a simple to tutorial to have a go at, and share news from the month and sometimes have offers and special discounts for subscribers.

You can find the link on the Ribbon and Thread website.

Thanks for reading my intro and I have been enjoying reading through the other Blogs on the website, such great work going on and in such a supportive community.

Look forwarding to sharing more with you, Thank for the invite Karen.

Love Lucy xx

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Caring in Chaos

Caring carer caregivers

I’m lucky to be a carer for two amazing people!!! My son and my Mum!

My son was diagnosed with Aspergers/ High functioning Autism, at age 7. We have had a tough old road, now he is 17, done his GCSE’s and is now at college! Safe to say I am one proud Mum!

In May 2015 I became carer for my Mum. She has chronic Arthritis both Rheumatoid and Osteo, which means she needs lots of help. She had to take early retirement and move in with me and my son.

I took up embroidery and cross stitch originally to do something creative.

Its helps take my mind off our crazy merry go round life of hospital appointments, meetings, therapy and general house stuff.

I suffer with Depression and PTSD, due to a previous abusive relationship. So stitching helps and keeps me sane, or not as the case may be 🙂

Autism spectrum top sweatshirt hoodie
Autism spectrum hoodie

For a long time I had thought about running my own business, but just didn’t know what to do. One day Mum saw and advert for a embroidery machine, “you could do that!” she said. So, along came this huge machine which initially I was terrified of! (I had only done hand embroidery up to that point!!). Luckily my computer whizz and all things technical son came to the rescue!

I had had the machine for a month and just looked at it in awe! Half term was all that was needed, by the end of the week he had machine embroidery sussed, taught me and so my learning curve began!

Eventually after several months I braved it and in January of this year (2016) I jumped in. Mum and my boy love the things I make and look forward to seeing the new designs and products, Mum especially as she gets to keep the seconds!

So, here I am, self-employed and loving every minute!

VISIT MY SHOP

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Caring is a full time job

Being a carer for your partner

I have never written a blog before and I am not all that good at writing about who I am or how I feel. Just lately I have felt that I should give it a go and reach out to people. Caring can be a lonely job. I get sick of people telling me it’s not a REAL job and that I should go to work and stop claiming tax payers money.

I care for my husband who was first diagnosed with Epilepsy 10 years ago. This is how it all started. He had to give up work because his fits got a lot worse. He was a hazard in the work place. It was worsened by the fact that he had an accident and broke his neck. He’s lucky to be alive. I love him so much that I am thankful he is still in the land of the living. His neck is crumbled and the gravel as we call it pushes on nerve endings which caused his fits to get worse.

While going through the system and trying to work out what was the cause, he was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. I have always taken his mood swings as a quirk and neither of us knew he had a mental disability. It opened our eyes to how much can be hidden under the surface.

Giving up work for him caused a great depression. He’s never been the same. With the system treating us the way it has it has caused anxiety and panic attacks so now talking to strangers and going to new places is a challenge for us.

Life can never be the same. So YES, I am just a carer but I don’t get time off. I don’t get holiday pay. I don’t get any support from anywhere and I am left to rely on my own decision making to what is best for us. I don’t have time to be sick. I am needed every minute of the day. I wish I could go to work and work nine to five. I would surly make more money and possibly have a more comfortable life.

I didn’t choose for this to happen. I’m not just sat here on my backside doing nothing all day like people seem to think I am. It’s hard work. Maybe not physically every day but mentally every second. Every time he has a seizure he could die. If you love someone just take a moment to think how that feels. He has at least two a day on a bad month. There is nothing I can do but sit by his side and pray he pulls through.

So no, I don’t have a title, a posh house or children. I gave up all my dreams to be by his side everyday. Love is the foundation of my life. My gift is the days I get to see him smile without pain.

I craft to keep my sanity. I love to create. I love to see people smile and I think LOVE is the most cherished gift we can share with one another. It’s FREE and it changes lives.

So next time someone says they are a carer, take a moment to realise they give up their lives for others happiness. Give them some supportive encouragement. I know we all sure could use it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Much love to you all. xx

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