Even in the midst of her struggles, Vicki maintains a positive outlook.
Every day, she wakes up to multiple responsibilities. She is a mother to her 17-year-old son Linkx and a full-time carer to her husband, Damien, who has neurological disorder, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (MECFS).
Both roles demand a lot of her time, energy, and emotional strength.
Vicki has been a carer for 20 years but didn’t recognise herself as one until 2019.
“We went through a crisis. I couldn’t work anymore and when I was speaking to Centrelink and explaining my situation, they told me I was a carer.”
“That was about the time when we realised my son was a young carer too.”
Vicki used to run her own business.
“Before I knew I was a carer, I was a kundalini yoga and meditation teacher. That was my job. Only one of us was able to work full time because of the situation.”
“However, I could never fully commit to my business because I was having to pick up everything, everywhere.”
On top of her caring role, she had to manage her own mental health issues and support her son’s mental health.
“We had a good doctor and she got us on to a mental health plan; my son and I started to go to family counselling, seeing a psychologist.
Vicki learned about Carers Queensland through her coaching sessions at Wellways.
With the support of Carers Queensland, she found a community of people who understood the challenges she faces within her caring role.
“At the beginning of last year, I registered with the Carer Program. After joining Carers Queensland, what I’ve noticed is that the program gave me something to look forward to.”
Vicki started attending workshops and participating in the Health and Wellbeing program, which helped her learn new skills and take care of her own health as well.
“At our self-care masterclass I learned to think about three things I am grateful for, that will make my day great and three things that I’m looking forward to. So, every morning I do that.”
Over time Vicki has also learned to find the balance between her own needs with caring for others, especially when life doesn’t go to plan.
“Three months ago, it was probably my husband’s best time in the last seven years. Then I thought I could start looking for what I want to do.”
“I joined the Your Caring Way program and after doing my initial assessment, working on a plan and being ready to do my First Aid course, we had to move houses. So, I had to put everything on hold.”
But above all, Vicki remains optimistic.
“At the moment we’re in major crisis but we’re managing it and navigating it as best as we can.”
“We started to build our support networks over the last couple of years and now we know who to call.”
“I’m very engaged in the Health and Wellbeing program; it gives me something to look forward to, and that makes me feel positive.”
“I understand that the most important part of my caring role and the most important thing of my mental health is to have a positive outlook and to bring that light and joy into my life and into the family life.”
Vicki finds caring very rewarding, and she says it has brought meaning to her life.
“My whole purpose in life is to serve and to bring joy to people. That is my path. Being able to care lets me do that for the person that is the most important to me.”
“It’s really teaching me ability to be of service from a place of heartfulness, instead of obligation. It makes me feel so good in my heart.”
She continues her caring journey with renewed energy and positivity, and she is grateful for the support she has received from Carers Queensland.
“Carers Queensland has worked it all out. Whenever I do an activity with you, you feel there is an acknowledgement of carers: you are the experts in caring, in your life and in your situation and we are here to support you.”
“Carers Queensland is like a lifeline to me. They offer that genuine true support that can be relied on. It helps me not only get through my day but also enjoy my days and value being a carer.”
Carers Queensland's Carer program provides services and supports to assist you in your caring role.
For more information contact us on 1300 747 636, email email@example.com or complete the contact form here