After speaking to a group of caregivers some months ago, a very nice young woman, who was the sole caregiver for her mother, asked to speak to me privately. The misery she was feeling literally radiated from her. I can still feel it as I picture her that day. She was on the verge of tears the whole time we spoke. It was heartbreaking to see how she was suffering.
This young woman, obviously, cared a great deal for her mother, who she wanted to be safe and comfortable in her old age. She loved her mother and wanted to do what’s best and right. But, she needed a life of her own. She was alone, unfulfilled professionally and believed herself to be held back and trapped.
This is a tipping point.
A tipping point happens when a caregiver can’t figure out how to fix things anymore. It’s not just a cry for help, it’s the point where something is forced to happen. The caregiver forces it. It’s a shift. You shift into another place, mentally. It’s necessary for survival.
This young woman instinctively knew she had to make a choice. She could continue in her misery and we would see her sometime later more unhappy and possibly ill herself or she could decide to take action. Action would be, making a firm decision to change the situation. That’s the shift. Once she had decided that something big was going to change, she would be somewhat out of her own way to come up with ideas on what to do to free herself up so she could have her own life back. That’s what she told me she wanted, “her own life back.”
It’s amazing how the right situations or people will show up in our lives, just as we need them, if we allow ourselves to be open to solutions. Was it a coincidence that she found herself in our group discussion at just this time? I don’t think so.