Being a Young Carer: How That Shaped My Life.

I’m fortunate enough to start this by saying that the caring load wasn’t completely on me. My mother who suddenly got Rheumatoid Arthritis from body shock became severely disabled and at the time the 4 of us were living at home. My father, mother, brother and I, along with my oldest sister visiting every now and then. I want to highlight that there are young carers out there who don’t have that and the responsibility of caring for someone in their household is entirely their own. I really want to commend those in that position, in fact in any young carer position as even my circumstance changed my life completely.
I’m not going to divulge into what my caring responsibilities would be but I wanted to focus on how being a young carer has shaped my life so far and even my future.


My mental health – Your mental health is honestly so so precious, it can take one event in your life to change the state of your mental health in its entirety. The moment my mother became sick a lot changed for us as a family and that was the moment it sparked the depression and anxiety for me. The anxiety stemmed from “what is to come next?” That uncertain feeling you get, let’s be honest.. life is completely unexpected and that leaves me with an uneasy feeling in my gut because I know just how suddenly everything can change. Then shortly follows is the depression, the empty and lonely feeling you get, with lack of motivation and a lack of courage to continue. My anxiety and depression will never leave me, it will only become managed and I know it’s taken me a while to get to where I want to be and I’m still working on it.

The past, the present and the future — Because I am the youngest sibling, I am the last to fly the nest, and I cannot bring myself to do it. I genuinely believe older siblings have that chance to leave without feeling a sense of guilt because they know that their very capable younger sibling is at home and can take on those responsibilities. I do however feel that it’s super hard to be the last one at home and to not feel a type of way to be leaving someone who still needs some level of extra care to then be on their own. Currently, I still live at home with my mother. I disregard any job opportunities that would require me to move away from home. In the past I’ve made decisions based on ‘Can I get home if I’m needed?’, ‘Will mum or dad need me at home?’ thoughts such as ‘I need to be close to be there for my family’. It influenced decisions such as moving away for University, but instead I chose to commute and stay at home. I worked as a Higher Education ambassador for The University of Winchester and that required sometimes to do residentials that are away from home and I remember at times laying in the bed during the night on campus and although it would only be a maximum of 3 days I’d have so much anxiety about home life and if everything is okay. In the future, I plan to never be far from my mother. Especially now that my Father is no longer here, I feel as though my anxiety has got much worse and I need to stay close to my loved ones.

This was filmed when I was just 17 years old. Many friends of mine used to tell me back then “You’re so mature for your age” and I used to be mistaken for being a few years older than I am which I still get now, based on my behaviours and my personality. Which probably explains the feeling of unfulfilment I get on a regular basis, I expect more from myself based on what I’ve experienced.

I feel burnt out a lot of the time – I’m exhausted majority of the time. It’s based on the mental challenges I face which then leads to a physical tiredness. It has been extremely mentally and physically challenging.
I do however believe that having experienced this will prepare me for the sacrifices of parenthood and in other aspects of life where I will have to care for another being. It has given me the knowledge to know what I can handle as an individual and that regardless I can carry on. Although I deal with anxiety and depression on a regular basis and sometimes have my relapses, I know I can always continue, just as though I did within my younger years when things were a lot tougher than they are now.


Do you know any young carers? Are you a young carer? Let me know below.

4 Comments

  1. Glad I stumbled on this post. Although I wasn’t as young as you, I became a caregiver at an age some might consider a transition age. While my friends were starting their adult jobs or getting into a Master’s program, I focused on providing the best care I could to my grandma. Even though there was help, it doesn’t take away from the emotions we might feel—the burnout and sadness we might feel. But there are good moments tucked away in between everything.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. It’s so important for us Carers to know we aren’t alone in our thoughts and feelings. What we feel/think is natural. It really takes a lot to do what we do. I’m proud of you! Keep going, you got this! 💛

      Liked by 1 person

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