Almost made it to the Retirement Line, but Not Quite
I think the hardest thing about the stress level you feel as a full time carer is that you often do not know you are in the middle of it. It is so easy to slide off the cliff with the day in day out nature of taking care.
When I realized I had not brushed my teeth in 2 days ( each morning as I preparing to do that, the carer arrived and was new, etc. or other things like urgent toilet needs intervened)
That slide in my personal hygiene scared me, as a I am a proud woman, and I have always taken care of myself. I immediately called a therapist and scheduled what are now monthly visits.
I was very depressed but just kept "sucking it up and getting through"
Besides therapy, my other relief is in bike rides, finding new friends, getting out for coffee, and trying to use my sisters for help. It is funny, but they see the respite ( when I take mum to their places), as a change of scenery for mum. But they do not see that I might really need the break.
A two hour matinee movie with my husband for his birthday was the "whoopee" for his day.
It is hard to not have thank you's and to see how alone I could be if not for my husband. And hard to see what I have asked him to take on, along with me.
My advice is if you think you may be stressed, you probably are deep into that territory. Get help. Don't wait, there is someone out there who "gets it" and can help you.