This my friends is what I term my "Caregiver Look".
This is a woman who is tired from little sleep/restless sleep.
A woman whose hair is getting greasy cause she hasn't had a moment to take a shower in a few days.
A woman whose face is breaking out because she has been too tired or busy to keep up with her face cleansing regime.
A woman still in her pjs because there isn't a point in getting dressed if she is stuck in the house all day.
A woman who is feeling a bit overwhelmed and stressed because she has a ton of things on her to do list but can never get to them all because she gets other interruptions she must handle.
A woman who isn't smiling because she is home, taking care of everything and doesn't need to put on a face for the outside World.
A woman who hasn't left her house in quite sometime because she lacks the time/ability/inclination to do so.
A woman who doesn't get a break because not only is she a mom but a Caregiver too.
I am sharing this because it shows exactly the kind of day to day toll a Caregiver to a disabled veteran goes through. I'm not looking for people to pity me or tell me how sorry they are. I am merely showing that when the soldier or veteran return home, life doesn't always go back to normal. Life doesn't always get better.
For some of us, life becomes more difficult. Life adds more stress. For some of us, life takes a direction outsiders will never understand.
We lose friends. We lose family. We lose normalcy. Some of us even lose ourselves.
Our veterans and soldiers come home and can't always handle the things they use to. They can't always show us the affection they once did. They can't relate to other people, let alone their loved ones. They can't be who they were before.
So, we try to do what we can to make them feel like life is still worth living.
We give them extra love. We show them extra support. We let ourselves sacrifice things to help them see they are worth it to us.
They come home from battle, but our battle just begins!
Am, I unhappy?
Some days, maybe. Overall, no.
I feel my battle is worth the fight!
I feel my family is worth fighting the war!
I feel my veteran deserves everything I can give him!
So, what if I spend some days and sometimes weeks looking like a zombie as i get through each day?
I feel the sacrifices I make are worth it.
*As a side note though for any and all caregivers of any kind out there. No matter what sacrifices you choose to make in your "job" as a Caregiver, remember that if you don't take care of yourself first and foremost then you will be no good to take care of anyone else!*