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My partner has a long term illness and I can't cope.

We have been together for 15 years. When she was a child my wife, Jayne, suffered appalling sexual abuse and now has a lot of illnesses that I am convinced are a direct result of this. She is an 18 years sober alcoholic, as am I (we met in AA), and she suffered from Fibromyalgia, Parkinson's, and a few other painful conditions. She has been ill for about 10 years now and I am her full time carer.

 

For a long time I managed but now I am finding it increasingly harder to cope. I don't get any sleep, just about every interest or passion of mine - I am a professesional standard musician but I no longer have the reserves to play - is gone. I feel that life isn't worth living anymore.

 

what do I do? There is no family to turn to. Help. Please. I am lost.

 

Harry

 

 

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Re: My partner has a long term illness and I can't cope.

First off - have you talked to your wife about this? This sounds like definitely the kind of thing you should discuss. If you do talk to her about it, make sure to use language that doesnt direct the blame towards her or her illnesses, and use lots of 'i feel' statements. Assure her its not her fault and you love her, but you're just having some trouble. She might be able to help! 

 

Have you ever considered hiring another carer? Of course this entirely depends on your financial situation. But having a professional come by and help you out might free you up a bit and take some of the stress off. 

 

Otherwise, try to scheldule some down time for yourself. Kind of force yourself to do something you love, even if its for a couple of hours. This could be music, or reading, anything. Again, tell your wife this. Remember, unless you look after yourself , you cannot look after others - the number one rule of self care. Here's some more info for you to check out

 

How are you feeling at the moment?

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Re: My partner has a long term illness and I can't cope.

Hi @Harmonica Harry, welcome to Reachout! Thanks for sharing that with us. I agree with everything @ivory said, getting someone else to help be a carer can give you a little bit of time to do some things for yourself.

 

Being a carer is really hard and I commend you on everything that you have done over the past 10 years, that is very inspiring and I can only imagine the kind of challenges you have faced over that time. I'm glad that you have been able to come here to express some of the difficulties you are having. The kinds of things you are experiencing such as the poor sleep, disinterest in things that you previously loved such as music and general apathy are concerning to me. Do either you or your partner have any support in terms of a GP, psychologist or other mental health professional? Is that something you might consider?

 

I have had to support friends and family members through illness and mental health issues before, I can't compare it to what you must be experiencing but I have found that when I am at my best, I am most able to help others. And through mental health support I have learnt strategies to help me cope with some of the things I've had to deal with. I can imagine it sounds very daunting and scary but here on the forums there are other people that may have gone through things similar to what you rae going through. We can talk you through it and support you through getting help if you decide it could help your situation.

 

Keep us posted on how you are going.

 

 

 

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Re: My partner has a long term illness and I can't cope.

Hi @Harmonica Harry, I am truly sorry to hear of your situation and I hope your wife will improve.

I can understand how draining and difficult being a full time career is and want to make sure you are taking care of yourself.
I think it's amazing of you to be looking after your wife like you are, she is very lucky to have you.
Can I suggest you set aside some time every day (perhaps when Jayne is sleeping), to just relax and do something you enjoy doing. I think this will help you cope and manage your daily life better.

To look after others, we must first look after ourselves.

I am also sorry to hear you have lost your passion and interests and am worried when you say you feel like life isn't worth living anymore.

Have you ever contacted a helpline before such as Lifeline [13 11 14] or Mensline [1800 600 636]?
They can help you get through the particularly tough days, but are also great at working through different issues.

I'm not sure if you were aware as well, but Reach Out is a service for under 25 year olds (not sure of your age), so we may not be able to best satisfy your needs.
By the sounds of it, talking face to face with someone could be a very helpful thing for you. Could you perhaps give that a go?
You are dealing with a lot and have been for a while and if you don't get the help you need early, things will likely only get worse.

I wish you all the best. Please take care
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Re: My partner has a long term illness and I can't cope.

I believe there are carer support programs available. Have you sought them out?