I was really pleased to have been nominated in the Carer categories for mental health awards. It made me think though, what is this blog about? If I am a carer, is it about my care for L. And if there are days when I don’t or can’t care, am I still a carer?
Because there are days when I don’t care. When I am too tired to care. This morning I woke up and I asked L about breakfast. I hugged her tight and told her that I need her to eat more. That recovery is a process not a state of mind, a place to be. It is a journey that ends, not a club to which we belong. She listens but she resists, she avoids and controls.
She goes back to make sandwiches. I lie in bed and cry and want to sleep forever. We go out and drive through stunning Autumn scenery. We stop and look at shops and then I remember I promised K cake. We go to the cafe. L hovers and prevaricates, her eyes flitting wildly across the menu. K panics about food situations and cannot choose cake. I buy tiffin for me and drinks for K and C. L has nothing. I eat the tiffin. I feel fat and greedy and hopeless. C asks why I am the only one having cake. I respond that I’m the greedy one. They reassure me, but I want to cry, shout and smash plates. I just want to go out to a cafe and have a fucking snack without all this shit. I miss our old life. I miss those days when we each had our own cake and swapped tastes. I miss hot chocolates and scones. I miss sticky buns or chocolate snacks. Actually it’s not the food. I miss the easiness. I miss the straightforward rituals before an eating disorder twisted and corrupted our world. I miss looking at my daughter and smiling rather than wincing at her slightness. I miss nights where I slept rather than waking in the early hours and spending hours wondering if today was the day she will get better. If today is a day when we will have cake and laugh. I know it won’t be. Even worse, I don’t know when that day will come. I am tired of caring, tired of hoping and tired of every day being just like the last.