Liz's story: "The most important thing as a carer is to not feel alone"
Support helped her feel like she mattered again
Liz* is a carer for her partner. When she was made redundant from her job, she was spending more time at home and started to feel very alone.
Being at home made me really see the impact my partner’s disability had on his life. I felt awful because up until this point I had only seen part of what he had to deal with.
Nurses came round to help him but I started to feel really guilty that I ever left him when I went to work every day. I knew there wasn’t anything I could do to help him so I felt helpless and lost. I felt very alone.
Small changes made a big difference
I first spoke to Lindsay from Porchlight's Aspirations service just before the lockdown happened. She was amazing straight away. It was like speaking to a ray of sunshine.
I knew she wasn’t going to judge me or think all the bad things about me I thought about myself. Lindsay encouraged me to make small changes that made a big difference, like getting up at the same time every morning and creating a routine. I love art so she arranged a delivery of paper and art supplies during the lockdown. It sounds small but it meant a lot to me.
Growing confidence to return to work
I went to some of the online groups and met new people. One of the sessions that really stuck with me was about wellbeing. It made me realise the importance of looking after myself again - something I'd completely lost track of with all the guilt I was feeling. My confidence grew.
I’m now working full-time again which is something I couldn’t see myself doing before. Things are still not easy trying to balance work and caring for my partner, but I feel better in myself and am able to cope with things much better now.
Aspirations helped me stop feeling guilty from a situation I had no control over and helped me feel like I mattered again.
The most important thing as a carer is to not feel alone. It’s hard when you feel like a failure because there is nothing you can do for the person you’re caring for but there are people out there who will help you.
To find out about Aspirations and our mental health services, click here. Our new Coronavirus information and resources can be found here.
If you prefer to talk through how Porchlight can help you get the support you need, you can call our helpline free 24/7 on 0800 567 7699.
If you are in emotional distress and need urgent help the Release the Pressure team in Kent is also available 24/7. You can text the word KENT to 85258 or call 0800 107 0160
*Liz isn't her real name, but the story is true