being a millennial caregiver sucks

Once upon a time I thought that tragedy only happened to people on TV. I think many of us millennials were taught to think that nothing bad could happen to us. We were normal, we all won awards, we were protected from the world. It was all butterflies and rainbows. I don’t fault our parents for treating us that way. Like every parent, they do the best they can.

Before Huntington’s Disease entered my life, my view of people dealing with tragedy was that they were all angelic. They didn’t swear or have bad days. They didn’t have moments of darkness when they just couldn’t stop crying. In the news, these people rose up from shitty situations and became beacons of light in their community. Or maybe they found religion and found their own peace in that.

And so, when my mother was diagnosed with HD, I thought maybe that could be me, too. I thought that maybe I was one of those inspirational people. I read books about religion and finding peace. I even ran a half marathon just to prove that I could. I was stuck in a spiral of how I was supposed to grieve.

Tragedy changes aspects of you. It doesn’t change your core. I’m still snarky and sarcastic. And while I believe I’m a more patient, compassionate person since HD has entered my life, I still get frustrated at slow drivers on the 101 and still love watching trashy reality TV.

It’s okay to be normal. It’s normal for things to be shitty.

I know quoting the movie “Now and Then” does not make me seem intellectual. But truly, the most meaningful quote in my life right now. In an age where we are constantly surrounded by inspirational stories, impossibly perfect Instagram shots and the endless parade people fighting against all odds, I think it’s important to remind ourselves that it’s okay to sometimes wallow in the shittiness of it all.

Written by Melissa Bilchik
This isn't a how-to. I'm not a pinterest mom. I'm a firm believer in faking it 'til you make it. This is for all the millennials out there who secretly have no idea what they're doing. I'm looking at you, millennial caregivers.

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22 Comments

  1. I dont know, how many comments here belong to people that do, and have done, 24/7 for 40 yrs?

    Reply
  2. True, but you don’t have to accept it. We all have our own personal hardships in life that we must deal with on a daily basis nevertheless that’s why you push on and on in life. Keep fighting! Stay Strong!

    Reply
  3. ” I think it’s important to remind ourselves that it’s okay to sometimes wallow in the shittiness of it all…” – Strongly agree

    Reply
  4. Of course it’s normal for things to be shitty.
    My mom is stage 7 Alzheimers and was given a year to live, now her kidneys are failing and her delusions and hallucinations are daily. For two days she didn’t recognize my dad.
    My dad has leukemia with decreasing kidney functions with the possibility of dialysis.
    This is why things being shitty is normal. Especially when i don’t have any help except for one aunt who is in bad health herself.

    Reply
    • Sure is. Here I thought things were going well. Mom is doing good with her PT and there’s a meeting scheduled tomorrow to discuss her improvement and hope that she will be released in a few days and come home. Today, I will go visit her and have to break the news to her that one of her brothers is in the hospital with brain cancer and not going to live much longer. Lord give me strength.

      Reply
  5. The low times are when I am ill and so is my spouse, thats caregiveing for both of us, and its not optimal care either way. Thank heavens Jerry keeps his cool, me I can cry in the bathroom, showers are a safe great release space.

    Reply
  6. These words are the right words for me! “It’s okay to be normal. It’s normal for things to be shitty.”❤️

    Reply
  7. today is a bad, shitty day for me

    Reply
  8. can relate on so many levels -thanks for the article

    Reply
  9. I admire my PCA wife for her ability to care for others, and for the quality of care she provides. I am so proud of her. Love you honey.

    Reply
    • Your wife IS amazing Stephen Lee!!

      Reply
  10. Bless all with kindness and peace!

    Reply
  11. Of course we should of course we do. Yesterday I took my 85 year old father to his GP to get his test results. He has alzheimer and vascular dementia. Blood pressure 140 over 80. His doc said that he is the perfect man on paper. Kidneys like a baby – perfect. Everything perfect. His GP told me that he can see how well I look after him. Now me, everything the opposite, I’m falling apart.

    Reply
  12. I love that this is from a millennial caregiver like myself. Most blogs I read are from adults that are taking care of parents with an age gap of 20ish years. I’m taking care on my mother in law where we have a 50year age gap and a language barrier. It’s hard on many levels but I must remind myself to love regardless of the situation. I cuss like a sailor when things get frustrating (thankfully she doesn’t understand) but i get it out of my system to calmly approach her afterwords ❤️

    Reply
  13. Yup….did yesterday and then felt guilty that I couldn’t keep it together.

    Reply
  14. I get so frustrated , and people wonder why I have high blood pressure!

    Reply
  15. It drives me crazy to feel the ups and downs of a tradegy that is never ending.

    Reply

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