Mental Health Ramblings – Taking Care Of A Loved One With ALS Results To Emotional Exhaustion

This year has been a lot for my family and me. Between the pandemic, riots, political issues, hurricanes, wildfire, and earthquakes, perhaps there is nothing that surprises me anymore. I believe I am more than capable of handling unexpected things because 2020 already pushed my physical and mental health to the limits. I must say, I am happy I made it this far despite all the negative things that surround me and all the uncertainties I had to deal with. As always, I keep my promise to myself to always focus on the good things in life. I always try and support myself because I know it is me who can only care for my mental health the way I should.

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Unfortunately, these past few days, my emotional well-being is a bit uncooperative. I feel so emotionally exhausted and often overwhelmed with a lot of things. I easily get irritated and upset, even if for no significant reason. My head feels so heavy, and it is as if something is trying to rip off my brain from the insides of my skull. And for a while, I wondered if I was depressed because I can’t seem to find the correct explanation to convince myself that I am okay. All of these instant changes happened right after I took the responsibility of taking care of my brother after my parents passed away.

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It Is Not An Ordinary Task

I know I should not complain about things, and I know I should not say this, but taking care of my brother is the most exhausting task I have ever considered. It even became a worse feeling compared to my parents’ death. Do not get me wrong. I am saying this not because my brother and I are not good terms because we are, honestly. I say the whole experience of being with him ends up exhausting is due to his mental condition. My brother has ALS, and unfortunately, there are quite many things he can no longer do anymore. That said, it leaves me no choice but to take care of everything for him. Honestly, it is not that big of a deal. I am more than willing to be his companion. But with all the responsibilities I have to take in, things eventually pan out. I began to have racing thoughts about how I should live my life freely now that I have to stick with him all the time. Sometimes, I thought of leaving him all by himself and just forget about he even existed. But that’s not me. I may not be the nicest person out there, but I am not a vile individual who can do that to my brother.

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Emotionally Drained

A few days back then, I was so sure that I am experiencing depression because of some particular symptoms I have read online. But then, when I checked myself once more, I found out that I am not mentally ill but rather emotionally exhausted. The difference between the two things is quite uncanny. Perhaps that makes me conclude to having a psychological problem when, in fact, I don’t. Nevertheless, that is what I am feeling right now – emotional exhaustion.

I am emotionally exhausted, not because of the task that keeps on piling up. It is also not about the instant responsibility I have to deal with now that I am the sole caregiver of my mentally ill brother. Instead, it is about the lack of emotional support, especially when I needed it most. It has been hard for me to deal with these emotional dilemmas because, all the time, I had to lie about how I feel. I need to convince myself that I can manage and that I can always do better. I have to control my emotions and not let it get into me. That way, I won’t break down. At least, as I thought, I can find my way back to why I even bother living in this miserable life.

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Final Thought

Stuff around my life lately is uncomfortable. But the thing that agitates me is the way I respond to stressors. It is completely out of my character to give up and become unmotivated because I always knew what to do to save myself from emotional and mental struggles. But this time, I want to express how devastating this battle is for me. I know this is not who I am. Unfortunately, I can’t help myself from feeling down. Truly, it is a shitty time, and I don’t want to stop crying. I am a strong person, and I know that. But if in case things are still not clear here, please do understand the advice I would like to share. Not because a person seems so strong doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t need help.

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