Take time for yourself.
What does being a military caregiver mean to you?
I take care of my husband and make sure that he is okay both mentally and physically. I am always there for him and will be supportive no matter what. At times, it is more stressful, but I take that as it comes.
How do you find strength in the difficulty of your day-to-day?
I know my husband will check in with me when he wakes up. I also get strength by being there for the rest of my family, friends, and community. I also do a lot of deep breathing.
What do you think is the biggest misconception civilians or the military have about your situation?
To take time for yourself. If you have children, be there for them like you are there for your veteran. Let people help; don’t think that you can do everything for yourself.
Beth is a caregiver for her husband, Earl, who suffers from major depression and anxiety. Additionally, he was diagnosed with stage IV Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in March 2015. Earl served over 22 years in the Air Force as a jet mechanic. They have two children, one 23 and one 18. Although Beth has a degree in social work, it has been hard understanding her husband's invisible wounds. These past nine years have not only been hard on Beth and her husband, but also her children. The children need attention in this process. Even though Beth gets stressed and worn out, she makes time and volunteers. As a Dole Caregiver Fellow, she wants to be an advocate for others dealing with invisible wounds, like emotional and mental issues--knowing that these affect the WHOLE family.