Experiencing low mood and guilt

I’m in my late 20s and have been the sole carer for my mum for most of the last decade. I have siblings but have never had any support from them with the care. Lately I’ve been feeling really low and wishing I could just have a life. I don’t want to go out clubbing or drinking. I just want to be able to do things for myself, have a lie in, exercise.
I work full time as well as taking care of my mum and feel like I never have time to do anything that makes me happy. I sit down for a couple of minutes and she needs something, has tried to move around and had a fall or is feel generally unwell.
She has a lot of health issues and complex needs and takes a lot of medication. I feel guilty because I know that she cannot take care of herself but I desperately want a break and some space. Besides all of the medical issues I feel like she’s really dependent on me emotionally I guess. Recently we’ve been having care workers in a couple of times a day to help out but I’m the only one who can give her her medication, she only wants me to give her her meals, calls me for the smallest things the second they leave instead of asking them for these things when they’re with her. I feel like all my hopes for myself and plans that I made have gone out of the window, even really small goals that seemed really achievable a few years ago feel way out of reach now and it’s depressing.
I’ve mentioned the idea of asking my siblings for help so I can get some respite but she said that they’re not reliable (I can’t disagree) and I’m the only one that has looked after her so far so she doesn’t like that Idea.
I don’t know what to do, I feel I’m wasting away being miserable in my everyday life but I feel so guilty for wanting to enjoy my life even though the reason that I’m not doing so is because my mum needs me.

Hi Samon,

I am in a similar situation and by chance I’ve come onto to the site and have seen your post, there are so many similarities here, I am too in my late 20s (well I’m 30 now) and care for my mum and have done for over a decade, it seems year on year her health has deteriated and is worsening, equally this puts more strain on me and my day to day life. Again Similarly to you I have no siblings who can help, and over the years I have ended up with no social life as I’ve just not had the time with balancing work too.

Sometimes it feels like there is no solution, sorry to say it seems like we’re in the same boat. One thing I would say is is try not feel guilty, carering is very exhausting, emotionally draining and painful, it’s natural to want the pain to just stop and feel free.

Hi Samon
I am sorry to hear how you are feeling but you don’t have to go through these things alone. I know its hard but I think its important you sit down with your siblings and explain how you feel and the effect this is having on your life, and wellbeing. This is not your 100% responsibility and its important to recognise that.

I don’t know if you have ever considered CBT but I also think that this is something you could benefit from - it will give you some practical coping mechanisms and help you to see things differently, You can usually self refer to Talking Therapies service near you, or perhaps consider seeing someone through Find a Therapist - sessions can be carried out online.

Your needs are valid and important and you should never feel guilty for putting your needs first from time to time.
I hope this helps

Parents have NO right to take away the lives of their adult children, for their own convenience.
Parents should want the best for their kids to fly the nest, explore the world, have a career, find a life partner, settle down, have a family of their own.

They do NOT have to have an adult child looking after them. Anyone can do this on a paid basis.
They just have to admit they are disabled.

An adult should not be expected to fetch and carry all the time!
Stop making yourself so available.
Find a good counsellor to help you break free.

Samon - I’m a carer for my elderly mum. I recently realised that I’ve been too helpful and taken on far too much for my mum. I’ve been her official carer for 6 years. Sadly my mum has deteriorated during those years and just thinks of her own needs now and is unaware of my feelings.

I do have 2 sisters and a brother and I have told them that I can no longer give up so much of my time and energy caring for mum. I also have a disability and can no longer drive which makes things a lot harder for me. It was not easy telling my siblings and mum that I wasn’t coping and was going to reduce the hours of care for her. Already after a few weeks of reducing the hours of care given I’m feeling better. I have more energy and I feel more relaxed. Mum is coping well - my son is helping her too.

You could book yourself a holiday - don’t ask for permission - just do it. In other words - start to take control of the situation. While you are away the carers and your siblings can look after your mum. After all - she is ok without you when you are at work all day, isn’t she?

You are important too, Samon. You need to look after yourself. You say you want to exercise - decide what you want to do and tell your mum that … eg every Tuesday evening you’re going swimming/ for a run/ zumba classes etc and stick to it.
It’s very important that your life is balanced - you need time to socialise and do things you enjoy doing. If you don’t change things now - then sadly things will get even worse and that won’t help anyone.

Hi Kira, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re feeling the same way. I found this forum the other night as I was feeling very alone and needed a way to vent. Your response has made me feel like I’m not alone in this as you’re in such a similar situation.
You’re right, the situation that we’re in is very exhausting. I hope you can get some support. I’ve had multiple calls with doctors and social services and not much has changed for me but I would still suggest that you reach out to your mum’s gp and anyone else that might be able to help you.
I wish I know how to make things better.

Hi Lorraine,
Thanks for your response. I actually had my first CBT session before Xmas but my next session isn’t until this week because of the holidays. The first session was introductory and I didn’t leave with many “tools”. Unfortunately I’ve noticed a drop in my mood over the last couple of weeks and just felt like there’s a lot of weight on my shoulders. I am really looking forward to the sessions and hoping that they’ll really help.

I think the reason that I feel alone is that my siblings are okay with my mum only wanting me. I’ve told them that I’m not coping but they know that she likes having me here so I think that they’ve convinced themselves that it’s in her best interest for me to continue caring for her.

Hi Karen,
Thanks so much for your kind words. I love that you’ve improved your situation and that your family has stepped up to help you. I’m hoping to build up the courage to have a proper sit down with my family all together and tell them that I can’t do this on my own anymore. I’m just worried that my mum will think that her wellbeing isn’t important to me or that I’m prioritising things in my own life that are not as important as her health.

I’m bowlingbun,

I absolutely agree and I know my mum and siblings know this to be true too. I’m one therapy session in and hoping I build up the strength to make some positive changes because I know that I can’t continue this way.