Hi, my name is Paul and I have a problem.
I’m not very good at sharing.
You know that old expression, a problem shared is a problem halved?
I think its right, but I’m just not very good at putting the theory into practice.
I’ve been struggling with various things for the last 18 months, all of them revolving around a familiar problem – that tricky juggling act of career and carer.
My instinct is always to stay home and offer Rachel whatever support I am able. She is my priority, nothing else comes close.
But in the real world I need to make sure we can maintain a roof over our heads, pay bills, eat, drink and survive. We need money for that and so I need to work.
Thankfully we don’t need money to laugh and joke – that has always come naturally to us.
But the “real life” stuff has become something of a chore in recent months. Actually, it has become more than a chore. It has become a real struggle.
I am guilty, however, of typical male bloody-mindedness. So whenever anyone asked how things were going, I would give a convincing reply about how everything was tickety-boo.
Even more stupidy, I was determined to keep Rachel safe from the stress and strains of the “real life” stuff I was wrestling with day in and day out over the course of the last 12 months or more.
Needless to say, the act was bound to disintegrate sooner or later.
It now has.
But I’ve landed 18 months worth of stress and struggles on Rachel in a single weekend. I’m an idiot.
It also goes without saying, however, that a fresh pair of eyes and a clearer brain has worked wonders.
All the woes have not miraculously disappeared, but they are now being tackled. It will take time and effort and it will all get resolved – I’m still an optimist, if nothing else.
We’re coming up with a plan that will help, but it will also mean things have to change.
The biggest change needs to come from me. I’m not superhuman, I’m not capable of doing everything on my own 24/7 and 365, I need help, I need to learn to ask for help.
My name is Paul and I have a problem.
I’m a carer.