Carers Week: Keep going as there is always hope
by Leigh *
I currently work as a Recovery Practitioner, supporting carers in Monmouthshire. Before starting this position, I didn’t realise that I was also a carer. I was caring for my eldest daughter, and I thought I was just being a parent by caring for her.
My daughter suffers with undiagnosed bulimia. For me this was a big thing and I pushed for a diagnosis as I thought it would help. We never got one, but I now realise that putting a label on it wouldn’t have helped.
I was distraught and felt totally out of my depth and entirely alone and didn’t know where to turn for help and advice.
Over the years my daughter was offered lots of support through CAHMS and other NHS mental health services. In all this time, I was never offered any support for my caring role. I often thought that this had all happened because I was a rubbish parent and I regularly beat myself up. I think that if I had been offered some support with my thoughts and feelings that I could have been a better carer for my daughter.
I have learnt over the years to listen and not react without thought.
Things are still difficult, and I still often say the wrong thing but we are getting there.
Supporting carers, I have learnt that others share my experience. I am now in the position to offer them the advice and guidance on accessing support I would have benefited from, as well as the opportunity to feel someone is listening to them.
Melo is a great resource and I regularly signpost Carers to the site for tips on how to take care of themselves.
Keep going as there is always hope.
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