A self-indulgent, guilt-inducing desire


I have a desire to run away.

Not forever. Just for a week alone in a cabin in the mountains where the only thing I can see and hear is nature. No one but myself to take care of for a week. If I wanted to, I could sleep all day and stay up all night. If I wanted to, I could have a couple of glasses of wine because I wouldn’t have to be on constant high-alert for a medical emergency as I am now. I could go for a long hike or a leisurely stroll or just sit at the water’s edge and think of everything imaginable or nothing at all. I wouldn’t have the constant monotonous whirling sound of a feeding pump echoing in my ears. I wouldn’t have the sound of alarms going off in my head day and night, even when they actually aren’t. No nappies or vomit or medicines or seizures or appointments to attend or schedule. No phone. No internet. No noise. No chaos.

No caring. 

Just for a week.


I know, it does sound odd for someone like me who is so isolated as a result of being a full time carer to want a week alone in the wilderness. Some people find their center in church. Some people find it being by the ocean. For me, it’s always been the mountains. God, how I miss the mountains. Better yet, how I need that inner-peace which I find in the mountains. 

As I type this blog piece, I know people with cancer fighting for their life as they lay in a hospital bed. I know parents whose children have had cancer treatments and other health procedures delayed because of our broken health system. I know there are people with no home; people who have recently lost a beloved family member; indeed, so many people who have it far worse than I do. And my sons, I love them with every fiber of my being so how can I dare to think of a week without either? More guilt sets in as I contemplate this desire. To you all, may you forgive me for evening thinking of this self-indulgent dream.

I write this only as one person, just one perspective of self-reflection, in my own life. Still, considering the points above, I feel guilty at writing these thoughts.

My mother died from cancer at the young age of 60. Sometimes it crosses my mind that I’m only 6 years away from that age and then my anxiety (a demon I wrestle with too often) kicks in and panic hits me that this could be it for me – this life of caring 24/7 and then I die. That’s it. This is it. No more mountain hikes or strolls along the lakeside or sleeping in or staying up late or having a glass of wine without being on-call. No more freedom or ability to enjoy so many things I previously did before becoming a carer 24/7.

No more silence in my mind or calmness in my soul…

And then, as anxiety would have it, a panic attack takes hold, as it did this morning while I thought of this self-indulgent, guilt-inducing desire of mine. 

Ironically, it’s precisely in that panic attack occurring that my psyche tells me how this desired week in the mountains is actually rooted in self-preservation and self-healing. But even so…it cannot be. Not now, anyway.


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