My Story

Hi, I’m Debra!

I want to share my caregiving journey with you, how I navigated the challenges and forgave myself in the process! 

I was not prepared to be a caregiver so early in life, so when my mom fell ill, I began searching for help anywhere and everywhere. But the caregiving path was confusing, uncertain and the resources I needed were unclear. When I began caring for her, I was at a loss, overwhelmed, and my stress level was through the roof!

When my stress was at its peak, I found myself mentally exhausted, anxious, and sleep deprived. I looked for ways to center my mind and create more balance in my life, but that proved to be more difficult because I had little guidance. There was no caregiving book that I could find.

When routine care no longer worked, I used creative and motivational approaches, so mom kept her dignity while fighting for her life. I learned about patience, positivity, and comfort and how they were essential to her care and as well as to mine. As her decline accelerated, I was haunted by feelings of inadequacy and often asked myself, “Did I do enough? Was there a stone I left unturned?” I tried remaining positive even when I knew what was coming next.

Caring for someone can evoke uncontrolled feelings of defeat, frustration and resentment and these emotions can break a person.

But now as a battle-scarred caregiver, I am proof that you can come out the other side of this journey stronger, wiser, and with more resilience than could have been imagined.

One morning while listening to the rain on the roof before visiting my mom, I was reminded of those sounds that once comforted me. I was taken back to younger years when life was simpler, and splashing in the rain puddles was fun. Sometimes during the summers, I ventured out in the rain to try catching raindrops on my tongue. It was challenging, but I loved trying, just the same.

Now, when I am in stressful situations, I often relive those years of catching raindrops. There is something so soothing about the rain that quiets the mind during stress and chaos. And when I sit still, for just a moment, I allow myself to breathe. My mind settles down and the answers I am searching for become clear. When I decided to write about navigating my challenges with caregiving, Catching Raindrops seemed to be the perfect name!

During my journey, I have realized something crucial; Caregiving isn’t a life sentence!

It has taken everything inside of me to find ways not to fall apart. Anger and guilt kept pushing me down, and I resented anyone who did not step up to help. My once-controlled life was no longer recognizable. I reacted to immediate needs, putting out one fire and then another without taking a breath in between. Even with family and friends surrounding me, how lonely I felt!

My care journey has continued well after my mom’s passing. But this time it is all about me and my emotional journey to self-care.

Although I faced considerable challenges, I am still learning to breathe through the chaos. Self-reflection has taught me to be grateful for every moment, allow myself to forgive, give myself grace, and let others support me when I am no longer able to stand on my own.

More importantly, I am continuing to learn the essence of caring for myself first, but this time without the guilt!

(Catching Raindrops is about navigating the challenges of caregiving and the emotional journey to self-care!)