Spousal Caregiving Challenges: Looking Back at My Story in 2018
Does your partner’s illness feel like a marathon? You want to go the distance with them, but it’s wearing you both down?
I originally wrote and published this post about coaching support for spousal caregivers in June 2018. My husband was still alive then and in the midst of his battle with cancer.
At the time of writing, I had no idea what the future would hold for us and how his health would go. ..
I had no idea that what I was learning from coaching would get me through so many difficult times to come and be the inspiration for a brand new career for me…
We can’t know what the future holds for us. But we can develop the strength and self resilience to know that we can handle it, what ever it is. It took me a while to gain that strength, but I owe it to all the amazing tools and insight from my coaches who helped me in this journey.
Illness Is A Marathon Without A Set Finish line
Caring for a loved one facing a serious illness is akin to embarking on a marathon without a set finish line. You’re committed to the long journey, from the initial diagnosis to treatment and beyond. Throughout this process, the emotional roller coaster can be draining for spousal caregivers. That’s why it’s crucial to recognize the importance of support for spousal caregivers. Like a marathon, you must persevere, and having the right support can make this journey more manageable.
Going It Alone as a Spousal Caregiver
Navigating the challenges of spousal caregiving can often feel like running a marathon with little guidance. During my husband’s first battle with cancer, we relied on the support of our wonderful friends and family but didn’t seek out professional assistance. We never considered joining support groups, consulting a therapist, or exploring the concept of coaching; it was an arduous journey, and we endured it as best we could.
Looking back on that time, it was like setting off on a marathon without any prior training. Instead of gradually building our emotional resilience and coping mechanisms through practice, we jumped into caregiving without a clear roadmap.
We learned as we went along. Over time, we became more adept at handling the routine of oncologist visits and managing the anxiety during the waiting period between tests and results. Nevertheless, our personal growth was limited. We eventually returned to our previous lives, facing the same challenges and struggling to envision a brighter future.
With A Coach
With the introduction of coaching, our approach changed significantly when my husband’s cancer recurred. We desired more support and empowerment this time. A chance encounter with a life coaching podcast transformed our perspective. The podcast was so beneficial that we eventually enrolled in coaching, making a profound difference in our caregiving experience.
Having a coach while caring for your spouse is akin to having a dedicated trainer who prepares you for the race. The coach provides guidance on what to expect and helps you plan ahead. They assist in strengthening your emotional resilience, teaching you to process challenging emotions. They equip you with tools to gain awareness of how your thoughts impact your actions. Most importantly, they emphasize that you have the power to decide who you want to be for your spouse, family, and yourself. A coach supports you in becoming a better version of yourself.
The coach helps you to become a better you.
The most significant change brought about by having a coach during this journey is that I can honestly say I’ve become a better version of myself. My partner’s battle with cancer provided a significant opportunity for personal growth, and coaching allowed me to seize that opportunity.
Coaches aren’t there to offer sympathy or commiserate like friends; instead, they help you understand that you have the power to control your thoughts and actions in this situation. They hold a mirror up to your thinking and encourage you to change your thinking if you’re dissatisfied with the results. They provide you with the skills needed not only to navigate the cancer marathon but also any other challenges that life presents. It’s truly a game changer, and I believe in its transformative power. Coaching support for spousal caregivers can make all the difference in such a demanding journey.
If you are going the distance with your partner’s illness or condition, I’d be honored to be your coach. Click here to set up a time for us to talk and see how I can help.