My life as a Carer by Karen Burge.
In 2014 I co-founded The Church of Ubuntu and went on to run the Ubuntu Wellness Clinic, a clinic that supports people who choose to consume Cannabis for the nutritional, medicinal and disease prevention benefits. It was the same year that I witnessed a 3 year old boy go from 1500 seizure’s one day to 5 the next after one dose of Cannabis oil. After witnessing the benefit that this had on this child, his parents and many others getting relief from consuming Cannabis, I decided to dedicate my life to raising awareness about the benefits and potential of the Cannabis/Hemp plant and Children with Intractable Epilepsy.
The desire to #endchildhoodepilepsy became stronger after working with many families living with epilepsy and witnessing the immense suffering these children and their families lived with on a daily bases, and the relief that came after consuming Cannabis and a plant based diet. While working with these families I came to the realisation that all politicians should spend a week in the life of these families and maybe then they will have the empathy and compassion to support these parents to use Cannabis to give their children better quality of life.
Personally I believe in taking on the role of a Cannabis activist, you also become a carer for all Australians because we are standing up for all Australians rights to affordable access to a plant that has been successfully consumed as food and medicine for thousands of years (prior to prohibition) and is as cheap to grow as parsley.
When I took on the role as a carer, over time, I felt I lost a part of myself, I stopped doing the things I loved to do. My whole life, every waking hour was dedicated to improving the quality of life of those I was caring for. I stopped doing my daily practices and started to put everyone else’s needs before my own. Whether we play the role of a carer, as a parent, partner, a child caring for a parent, a parent caring for a disabled child, or work in a career as a carer I find we all fall into the habit of putting ourselves last and losing that connection with ourselves, especially if we are trying desperately to save the life of another or at least offer them better quality of life.
Here are some tools that have helped me and may be of assistance to you too.
Exercise, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, gratitude, mantra, grounding and connecting with nature are the tools I use to achieve and maintain my spiritual, emotional, mental and physical well-being, but I found when I stepped into the role of a carer I forgot to use my tools. In hindsight I feel if I had of been more consistent with using my tools the last 5 years would have been easier.
My daily practices, especially spending time in nature and watching the sunrise and sunset became sporadic and I felt like I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. Thankfully I am in a position now to create a better life/work balance and I am making the time to use my tools daily which has improved my health and quality of life again. I hope this blog inspires you to take your life and health back into your own hands if you feel you have lost yourself while caring for others.
When I start my day using my tools things just flow easier, things that would normally irritate me no longer irritate me, that is why I call them coping tools.
Personally I think one thing lacking in our society, especially our school curriculum is providing individuals and children with these simple coping tools, that is why we are living in a society of people that cannot cope with everyday life and sickness, depression, insomnia and suicide is ever increasing.
Vice President – Church of UBUNTU, Ubuntu Wellness Clinic
Top image courtesy of Shannon Hartigan Images – click image to see more