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Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:59 pm
I'm finding it increasingly difficult to speak about my caring role without crying.I'm needing help and support but it's putting me off telephoning doctors/social work to explain how difficult things have become. I can email no problem but as soon as I try to talk to someone, the tears start and I can't speak as I get so upset, I'm not used to having any supports and always managed on my own for 23 years. I've never been like this. Has anyone any tips-I feel silly. Thank you.
Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:54 pm
You definitely are not silly!! Have you thought of phoning the Samaritans, or making an appointment with your GP. A double appointment. If you cry it will show that you are in desperate need of help. I've cried tears for Britain, still do sometimes. I wish I could be more helpful, but crying is natural.
Others will be along with suggestions I'm certain.
I'm so sorry. ((((( HUGS)))
Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:06 pm
I agree with Pet. I hate crying in public too but it's understandable and will make those listening better appreciate the pressure you are under. Make an appointment and tAke some notes with you of what you need to say, then you can always hand these over or read them out.
You do need to talk to someone, do you have a good friend you can overload too. If this isn't possible you could ring the Samaritans or the Carers Uk listening service which is available Mondays and Tuesdays, from 9am to 7pm on 0808 808 7777. If they are busy then email firstname.lastname@example.org
and ask for a call back.
Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:45 pm
Hi Chocs (love the username btw!)
It sounds to me like your stress bucket is overflowing. We each have a stress bucket and most of us cope for years with the amount of stress within it, but over time as more and more stress arrives the bucket fills up and overflows, often in the form of tears. It's just your body's way of showing you that something has to give.
Talking it out, getting help or support, exercise, mindfulness, and, if possible ditching some of the stress, will all help the levels reduce back to where you can cope again.
It isnt silly to cry, and it isn't silly to ask for help. It's what your body is telling you to do
Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:26 am
Yes, quite understand your dilemma - emotions are just 'bursting out' of you, and not surprising they are. I completely agree with the stress bucket analogy!
In practical terms, you say you can email OK, it's the face to face that sets you off. So, how about writing down all the things that are getting on top of you in an email.
You can write it 'stream of consciousness' if that is easier, without punctuation or whatever, but then, when you've done, take a breath and put what you've written into either bullet points, or at the least, short paragraphs, eg, two or three lines each (like what I'm doing here!!!!).
(It's always so hard to read a great block of text, especially if the punctuation is uneven or absent - what works well as speech usually doesn't work well as text!)
Then, print out the email, and take it with you to the doctor's - and give it to them. They can read it while you are talking, and if you break down into tears, they have the 'reasons' in front of them.
It might also help you not to make eye contact with them, if you see what I mean - less emotional!
All that said, I do agree that simply going to the doctor and 'bursting into tears' should give them the heads up that yes, you are near breaking point, and they have to DO SOMETHING!
In general, with stress, sometimes all that is needed is to reduce the burden in a few areas, and that gives you a 'breathing space' to cope with the rest of it.
The things to focus on reducing are -
- things that are EASY to reduce (that's the 'low hanging fruit' theory of de-stressing)
- things that cause the MOST stress (that's the 'key factors' theory of de-stressing)
So, make a list of each - what would be the 'easiest' (quickest etc) to either cut out, or get someone else to do.
What three things cause you the MOST stress (for whatever reason - they take the longest, they upset you most, doesn't matter why, just that they DO cause the most stress).
You don't have to come up with ways of removing them, just to identify them, and know that they are the ones to go for first.
Sometimes getting rid of one low-hanging fruit cause of stress, and one 'key factor' thing, can be a good combo to make a start on.
Wishing you all the best, and hoping things can ease off for you very soon.
Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:32 am
PS - just to say that when, long ago now, my own stress bucket was bursting at the seams - it was because I was a full time working mum who never seemed to go 'off duty' either from work or childcare-when-I-was-at-home, I discovered that it only took 'one thing' to take the pressure off me.
Because I was working five days a week, with a long (hour and a quarter/half) commute on trains, and I had to get my kiddie to crèche nursery beforehand, and he didn't sleep well and I did all the housework and the cooking, and my weekends were just work work work in that respect (etc etc etc)(usual working mum chronic overload syndrome), my 'breakthrough' came when with my husband I agreed I would simply drop one day a week at work, a Friday as it happened.
BUT, I would keep kiddie at nursery that day.
That just took the pressure off me, like the lid coming off - it was brilliant. I now had ONE DAY that was for me, and me alone, and once kiddie was at nursery instead of going into work I had my 'mini-weekend' all to myself.
Oh, sorry, yes, and we got a lovely lady in to clean the house on Monday morning so I didn't have to spend the weekend doing housework - instead we could go out with kiddie as a family, and my relationship with my husband improved as well.
OK, so TWO THINGS just transformed my life from a non-stop grind to something enjoyable as well.
We had less money (one day less working, plus 4 hours cleaning to pay for!) but it was SO worth it for quality of life for all three of us.
DO HOPE something similar might work for you.....
I only said my example to show you that sometimes you just 'HAVE' to 'step back'.....or break.
Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:29 am
It doesn't matter if you start crying down the phone to doctors or social services. In fact, it draws their attention to the fact that you are struggling. My first experience of this when I had to report the care department of my council to the Care Commission after I had been reduced to tears by one of their Managers. Her attitude was appalling and bullying. I could hardly talk to the receptionist who answered the phone as I was so upset. They were fantastic and I never had problems with that woman again, in fact she took early retirement. People are very sympathetic and no one will look down on you because you are upset.
Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:20 pm
I just wanted to add a couple of things that have helped me one is taking ashwagandha which reduces surges of cortisol. This is the stress hormone that surges in the morning to wake us up but can keep surging when we are going through extreme stress and can be the reason we wake in the night in a panic which in turn reduces the quality of our sleep which we need to help us cope.
Where possible try and get to bed before 9pm as the body does most of its healing during sleep before midnight. I was always a night owl, regarding late night quiet time as my me time, not realising I was robbing myself of something which would help me cope.
Lastly I listen to You Tube videos for guided talk downs to sleep or for relaxation. There are some great ones on there for reducing stress, anxiety and negativity. I would recommend ones by 'The Honest Guys', 'Jason Stephenson' and 'Michael Sealey'.
In fact one I've been listening to for trauma relief and healing is this one...
It says it's for PTSD but I have found the words quietly spoken work absolute wonders whenever you're in distress.
Also I would just like to add that the tears we shed when we are upset have certain chemicals in them that the body does well to expel. These have been found to be different to the contents of our tears when we cry with laughter etc. So crying will be doing your body good whenever you do.
Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:14 pm
I've had that feeling too, it's you body telling you you've "HAD ENOUGH".
Time to declare war on social services. Make a Subject Access Request to find out what they are saying about you behind your back - i.e. do they understand the stresses you are under? Ask for new Needs Assessments, new Carers Assessments, advocates for you and the family with special needs.
Tell them what you need and give them a time limit within which you expect the service to be provided by, two or four weeks is reasonable. The Ombudsman says that assessments must be complete within 6 weeks. There are various levels, local level, area level, County level. The higher you go, the larger the boots managers have to kick their underlings, and they know that if they displease the manager, their career prospects aren't good.
Ultimately, the social workers governing body can strike off failing practitioners.
Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:44 pm
Just wanted to say a big thank you for all your helpful comments and sorry for taking so long to reply. I was using what energy I had to fight Social Services and I think the ball has started to roll now after being ignored, not listened to and abandoned. Although I'm cynical, one of my caree's (I have 2) has a new Social Worker and she seems to be doing something. I'm not feeling quite as tearful, I managed half a conversation without crying yesterday, big improvement.
I hope you're all well x