Focusing on Myself to Stay Sane

Alliah Czarielle avatar

by Alliah Czarielle |

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My husband is down with a bleed for the second time since the COVID-19 quarantine began.
It hasn’t even been a week since he recovered from his latest abdominal bleed. We were only starting to settle back into our usual routine. I was happy to see him back on his feet and cooking our meals. What a joy it was, knowing that I no longer had to refill our water bottles all by myself!
Then, a new bleed appeared out of the blue.
I admit that it’s hard to stay sane in a situation like this. As much as I want to stay patient as his wife and carer, I’m starting to feel exhausted. Being stuck at home makes things even more challenging. If it was any normal day, I could go out, try a new activity, meet a friend, or indulge in a food item I like. Then I’d come back home feeling refreshed.
Instead, I must find other ways to manage my emotions from the confines of our bedroom.
These days, I enjoy riding the highs of online shopping on occasion, as our Instagram jewelry shop’s clients do. Revisiting artistic hobbies gives my mind a tremendous feeling of peace. Even the mundane activities involved in these hobbies bring joy. Deep cleaning a fountain pen or piece of jewelry, for instance, allows me to focus on the present moment — the outcome of a clean pen or sparkly ring is equally satisfying.
My creative pursuits and hobbies, such as fountain pen and jewelry collecting, are my own. Immersing myself in them reassures me that I am still my own person, outside of being a wife and carer. I’m reminded that before getting married and becoming a mother, I had different hopes and dreams. Nowadays, I dream of a more balanced and whole life, fully aware that parenthood and being a spouse are only two fractions of life’s entirety.
That’s very important to me these days because I know too well what it’s like to lose oneself in caregiving. It’s mentally unhealthy, and it can also destabilize one’s parenting foundation.
I recently came across a saying from the psychologist Rollo May: Love is generally confused with dependence; but in point of fact, you can only love in proportion to your capacity for independence.”
Once again, I’m reminded that taking care of myself is important. As I learn to attend to my own needs, I become less needy. In effect, I will have more mental and emotional space to care for another human being.
If there’s any silver lining to my husband’s bleeds, it’s that they give me the time to focus on myself. My husband can do his own thing while he recovers, and at times when he doesn’t need my help, I can do mine.


Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, Bionews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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