Hi all.
I am 29 years old and have been a full time carer for my disabled mother for a year.
I have put on so much weight, I feel like my life is on repeat. My days do not end until 1am after I’ve put mum bed to and tidied up the house.

I can’t sleep because I’m constantky stressed about life in general. I find it hard to keep positive.

Does anyone have any tips on how to overcome this kind of feeling?

Becky, hi - I don’t think your priority is how to overcome those feelings you describe. I think it is to improve the situation you are coping with so you don’t HAVE those feelings!

In other words, to take what steps are possible so you are NOT caring full time, at such a young age, for your mum.

Now, that may seem ‘impossible’ - that feeling of being inescapably ‘trapped’ as a carer is VERY common, but things CAN improve. It may take planning, adjustment (and by your mum, too!) and to a degree some ruthlessness on your part as well, but things CAN improve.

After all, if I said to you - OK, so you’re 29 and caring for your disabled mum. How long do you think this is going to be like this? Till you’re 39? 49? 59? Till your entire life is OVER???

Do you see how that is so terrifying it FORCES us to ‘think ahead’. So many of us kind of ‘reverse’ into caring - we don’t see it coming, it arrives as a crisis of sort and we are so busy with daily coping (or not coping!) that we either don’t think about the long term future - or it is so terrifying we dare not think about it!

(When I ‘inherited’ the care of my 89 y/o MIL, all alone - I’m widowed - who was developing dementia and becoming ‘helpless’, I realised that unless I did something ‘drastic’ I could be ‘wasting’ at least ten years of my life - ie, until old age finally took her…it really, really scared me…) (so I did something drastic…) (I ‘put her in a care home’…)

Now, I’m not saying that the only solution to your predicament is something equally drastic, but you CANNOT just ‘give up’ your entire life to your mum. For a start, she would not want that surely! Surely she must want you to have a life of your own, marriage, children, a job, independence, etc etc. Even if you go on having ‘some’ degree of care for her - emotional of course as well as practical - you MUST ‘reclaim your life’ to an extent that is ‘bearable’ for yourself…and which allows time and space for marriage/children/job etc etc etc.

The first question is therefore - what is the nature of your mum’s disability, what is her financial situation (eg, does she have savings, own her own house), what is YOUR financial situation (are you able to work at all, do you own your own flat etc) and your personal life (do you have one?! Relationship, friends, etc etc) - are there any siblings at all to help out (even if they don’t want to!), etc etc etc.

Tell us a little more, and the collective experience here can help you max out what is available, help-wise, and perhaps more importantly help you see that you CAN…to an extent at least …‘reclaim’ enough of your own life to make it worth living.