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Hi, my name is Kathy. I am relatively new to being an unpaid carer and it took me sometime before I even would call myself such and come to terms with this new chapter of our lives. My hubby was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis in 2019, aged just 51, and around 6 months later the pandemic hit…

I have started writing a blog all about my journey, with a hope that it not only helps me, but also others who may be able to relate, as carers present or past. Hopefully it will be a help on some level, or at least a comfort other people on a similar journey.

My blog is on my Facebook page which is called ‘My blog’ (username Katunpaidcarer) if you wish to take a look. But extracts are going to shared here too.

Well the struggles go on. I have had many inner battles so it seems, trying not to be hard on myself for the choices I have made in the last three years. It’s hard, because in some ways it feels such a waste of time, but perhaps someone out there can relate? I do not look for my identity in work, perhaps I did once, but I see myself blessed to be alive, and still active.

Just somehow some of the mundane work, seems such a waste of my time and energy. Frustrations? Oh yes, I know them.

I always wait for the question, “what do you do Kathy?” As though this says ‘everything’ about me… No! it really doesn’t.

Dealing with the inner sadness I face, which creeps up and gets one every now and then. The losses… but this is not dwelling on it. I have every intention of moving forward and moving on, but know I have to face the ‘valley’ first, before I get to ‘better’ times. I am not saying ‘easier’, note.

The battles inside, I find peace in God, yes I am saying it, He is my rock. But this is in the midst of the storm…

But it doesn’t stop the questions, it doesn’t stop the longing for direction and desire to do something my heart is pulling me to. But at this age (50s) it’s not so easy to even try, you need some form of finance as a starting point. Let’s face it, apprenticeships are for the young!

Then it’s convincing someone that you have what it takes to take on the said role. Having said this I do believe that the God I believe in has a plan, I just wish I knew exactly what it is in this chapter of my life… I could easily become yet another person… carer without a voice in the background, only I am more determined about not letting this happen right now.

I have considered working from home, but doing what? The questions continue. I have tried looking at different things, with doors shutting, it can knock your confidence.

The only thing I feel positive and sure of right now is the women’s ministry through the church I go too, which truly makes my heart sing.

After almost 3 months in this tedious cleaning job, the cracks are showing, and I find myself praying quite a bit, just to keep going. I have done cleaning a few times in my past, as a stop gap only, and become bored really quickly, as my brain is so busy. But I am trying to stick it until I have another source of money that does seem the ‘right thing’, whatever that might be.

If I could be paid in charity work, I would be laughing! As I am connected to quite a few charities, but so many rely on volunteers now. And as much as I love volunteering, it does not pay.

And… I am a carer, I have recognised this now. All be it more support right now, not personal care yet. This support is invaluable in the fight of mental health, and the other big one: fatigue.

So my world continues, I am trying to not give up hope yet… as there is still much time this year. Who knows what could be round the corner.

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