A Good Heart to Heart Talk

Sometimes it’s really good to have these.  My daughter and I did last night.

We get so wrapped up in OUR own thoughts, feelings and emotions you don’t even notice other peoples.  Or maybe you do notice but ignore them or think yours are more important….or whatever their issues are will just go away.

I have definitely noticed my daughters and I certainly haven’t ignored them, but I also haven’t really and truly sat down and talked to her or shared mine.

We did that last night.  It wasn’t a weepy, sobby, yelling, blaming, emotional kind of talk, just pretty casual…..sitting around doing nothing exciting and we just started talking.  We just talked about everything and anything.   It was good.

Both of us came to the conclusion that we were rather self-centered and absorbed in ourselves…..we laughed about that!  This isn’t a bad thing because we both have our own issues that neither of us can really understand and even after talking about it all, we still probably won’t.  But it’s all good stuff to know.

I’m lucky, I think, that we can talk like this.  We talk all the time but more often than not, we just half listen to each other because we do spend a lot of time together and you kind of think to yourself, “I’ve heard all this before”…..blah blah blah…..

We’re not terribly good support for each other because we’re a lot alike in some ways and then so very different in others that we can’t even begin to understand each other.  Not sure if that makes sense really because we’ve always been there for each other but never quite know what to say to get us out of our “moods”.  We can make each other laugh and that is definitely a plus.

She’s a softie, and maybe a bit of a dreamer.  I’m not.  I’m pretty much a realist and accept (most) things for what they are.  We can both be a little OCD, which is not the best trait in the world to have.  We’re both pretty independent, me more than her.

I don’t understand depression.  I don’t know what to say sometimes when she gets into one of her funks.  But I can, and do listen…..I know I’m supposed to do that.  I just wish I could say the right things……sometimes nothing I say can make her feel better.   She struggles to get out of these funks.  I do to too but I CAN make myself get up and change gears and move on with my day…..if you are truly depressed you can’t just do that…..I know that, but I don’t “understand” it.

Caregivers learn to cope, adapt or whatever to our various new normals.  It’s hard sometimes but it’s a matter of survival, isn’t it?  We become resilient in many ways.  We can certainly be depressed (understatement!!)  but it’s not usually real clinical depression.

We have ups and downs, we hide feelings from our loved ones so we don’t upset them.  We go to bed at night (always the worst time of day for me….) thinking “what am I going to do” but most mornings get up and start all over again….usually feeling a lot better than the night before….it’s a new day and we always hope it’s better than the day before.

If we don’t have anyone to talk to, you kind of bottle your thoughts up or push them to the back of your mind.  They don’t ever really go away and come back again and again.

Having someone to listen and just let all these thoughts fly out of your mouth is a good thing.  It still doesn’t make them go away but it does feel like a bit of weight has been lifted off your chest….for a while.  Our patients don’t understand, they have themselves to worry about, they don’t need to worry about us too….that’s what we often think, so wouldn’t share how we feel with them……it’s our job to make THEM feel better, not worse.

SP https://www.smartpatients.com/  has a caregivers discussion group.  It was a bit of a lifesaver for me for a few years.  Having a good face to face, heart to heart talk (and a nice glass of wine…..) would have been wonderful, but just not possible because we’re from all over the place.  You could read about others going through the same thing you’re going through….the same thoughts, feelings, ups and downs, worries, etc.  It was good to know that you weren’t alone.  It’s not going to change what is…..but it gives you the chance to get everything off your chest when you don’t have anyone to talk too that can even remotely begin to understand how you feel.  Sometimes it’s even easier to just type it all out than to actually say it and, even though I think of these people as friends, or SP family, there is a certain amount of anonymity that lets you say what you want.

It’s good sometimes to BLAH-ther on about things………..

Well, it’s Friday (hooray) and we’re expecting a nice weekend.  I am NOT working tomorrow so I’m going to soak up every minute of it.  It makes me feel GOOD.

L.

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