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Looking after ourselves

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Re: Partners who chose to stay for the long haul

Yes, you are right
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Re: Partners who chose to stay for the long haul

I am slowly learning to give that caregiver guilt a swift kick out the door @LizzieLou .

 

I think you probably would be able to give a few of us long haulers some tips as to how you have managed. How many years have you been married?

 

 

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Re: Partners who chose to stay for the long haul

To answer that question Darcy, 57 years, the diagnosis came when our children were born.
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Re: Partners who chose to stay for the long haul

Morning @LizzieLou.


That must have felt pretty overwhelming for you .....

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Re: Partners who chose to stay for the long haul

Yes, Faith-and-Hope, but I did have a lot of support from his treating doctor, and was always included, unlike recent years. I had no idea what a long haul it would be!
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Re: Partners who chose to stay for the long haul

I can relate to that @LizzieLou (@ symbol immediately before someone's username tags them to your response).  Even though our situation has gone down, I was in it for the long haul.  


My soon2bX was finally diagnosed with BED, although that is still a relatively new category of eating disorder ..... and he duped the family doctor into believing he was cured of it, while the condition deviated into several alternative tracks under cover of his apparent "successful recovery".  

 

It didn't just remain with the eating disorder profile though.  The addictive behaviours extended into so many other aspects of his life that I have experienced great relief from being able to distance from them.  It hasn't stopped him from trying to wreak havoc regardless.

 

I am so glad to hear that you have a diagnosis and received support during that time.  It sounds from your reply that that has fallen away somewhat recently, which would be disappointing and difficult.

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Re: Partners who chose to stay for the long haul

Saw some tips for long haul trucking and I thought they paralleled to caring for the long haul, these include:

depositphotos_31715435-stock-illustration-health-symbols.jpg1. Keep fast food to a minimum

Plan healthy meals so we are not tempted to get takeaway/unhealthy options. Comfort eating problematic for myself.

2. Have a fitness plan sorted for long trips

As we are so often reminded, along with diet,exercise is vital in maintaining physical health. We all know that prevention is better than cure.  Why is it so hard for some of us????

 

images (42).jpg3. Always get enough sleep

Practice sleep hygiene.

4.Know your company safety protocols inside outScreen-Shot-2015-02-23-at-2.05.02-pm.png

I think this applies both to ourselves as well as our partners - making sure we are doing things that increase resilience and help us cope better (and thus avoid carer burnout). Being part of our partners treatment and safety plan, knowing what to do not only in a crisis but learning what works for us as a couple in being proactive to prevent relapse and to maintain living as well as possible in spite of a diagnosis.

 

Caregiver_Toolkit_Cover-Web.jpg5. Have and maintain an adequate tool kit

Remember a tool kit is not a complete workshop and that while there are things that we can fix, help from others is often required for ongoing care and there are some things we should not even try and tinker with.  Peer group support and self help tools are often very useful and in studies have been shown to be so, for more complex issues we might need to go to a qualified professional such as a  counselor or psychologist, GP or specialist support may also be necessary.

 

photodune-1243004-stop-look-listen-sign-m.jpg

6. Stop, look and listen before reversing. 

Be very careful when revisiting the past. A lot of our loved ones have had major trauma in the past and bringing this up unless necessary can be counterproductive.  Some things are best left to conversations between our partners and their mental health professionals.

 

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Re: Partners who chose to stay for the long haul

Yes, it has been difficult at times, @ Faith-and-Hope, he has always been so articulate, and always believed his own stories so doctors mostly, even now believe him and not me. We have always been low on funds as I was the main wage earner, so we use the Public Health system.Having spent my working life also in health, mostly I feel it is best, but treating doctors change often, there is not always continuity of care.  There has been a time when it was stated I exaggerated his behaviour, also that as he was now in his 80's, he must not be so bad. No acknowledgement that I had supported him in every way.over the years, and paid off his debts. He has also survived many serious medical conditions in spite of his frail state. Not to mention numerous car accidents since early days. 

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Re: Partners who chose to stay for the long haul

Hi @LizzieLou 👋 

Good to see you.  How are you going yourself ?  Are you finding self-care opportunities ?

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Re: Partners who chose to stay for the long haul

I have found this forum very helpful @Faith-and-Hope, (did I get it right this time?) just very pre-occupied lately. I was suprised that so many other partners of people with mental illness had had the same experience as I have. Even though I have been told by psychiatrists that they do believe what I say, I have this in the form of letters, but as staff change this is apparently forgotten. Once again it has been said "his wife exaggerates his behaviour" I found this so demoralising. It would be nice to be acknowledged as a reliable informant, for years I have not been listened to, and of course this reputation was picked up by the GPs in our area.  I'm too old to put up with it, and I thought things had chaged.

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