Written By: Caregiver’s Survival Network
“Life is a balance between holding on and letting go.”
As caregivers, we try to understand this balance. Letting go of the way life moved before caregiving. Letting go of the life your loved one could have had. Letting go of fear, resentment, and anger. It feels impossible. There is always the question of “why?” Always the question of “how?” Especially surrounding CFS, an illness that brings up so many questions and reaches for foggy answers.
We can’t predict the changing winds of our loved one’s CFS. We can’t prepare or reinforce defenses as one might for another condition. And if we try to control an illness that moves like smoke through our grasp, we’ll always claw at unfulfilled expectation. So we let the “should’ve” and the “could’ve” go. We let go of the maddening expectation that our life will look like a stock photo, glowing behind its golden frame. And we embrace acceptance. The way things are, the unpredictability, the good days and the bad. We accept them.
What does acceptance look like? A deep breath, a pause, a sigh. Noticing your emotions without judgment. If you’re angry today, that’s okay. We’re human. Almost more so. We see pain more than most, we see limitless love, we respond to responsibility, we make mistakes. Acceptance is the absence of expectation. And we let go of looking perfect a long time ago.
But acceptance is not complacency. To surrender to an immovable force isn’t the same as giving up. The difference? We lose the idea of what life “should be” and gain a life that is. Hold on to the moments you love in this life. Hold on to the person your loved one has become. Hold on to love, your supports, yourself. Hold on to that courage that gets you from one breath to the next.
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The Caregiver Survival Network is designed to be a free social network, dedicated solely to the welfare of caregivers: The Invisible Patients. Our goal is to become the premier center for finding resources, sharing experiences, developing personal networks and learning ways to minimize and cope with caregiver stress. Our code is to provide services that transcend disease, age, length of illness and income.