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Myth of Perfection – Experience as a carer

The myth of perfection is difficult to maintain for all of us, but it is especially difficult when your life includes multiple caring responsibilities. As well as being a postgraduate student, I am a registered carer for my mother. She has severe mental health issues including Bipolar Affective Disorder dating back to her youth. Alongside this role, I provide care for my elderly uncle who also resides with me, and I am a support system to my elderly, migrant father and my younger brother. All the above often means that I’m managing my own personal life, I am responsible for the running of the family home and I’m a carer.


I am often praised for the way in which I manage my life as if, somehow, I have discovered the perfect formula – rather than the fact that I have learnt how to develop a good mask. The reality of being a carer is far from perfection, it is heavy to carry. It is lonely and it is draining with little respite or meaningful support from the State or community.
Trying to pursue your own aspirations as well as being a carer is gruelling. There are times I am researching, reading, and typing away in hospital waiting areas and car parks. Having to stay up through the night so I could give my family my attention during the day. I am often tired, frustrated, running on adrenaline to get through my day and feeling anxious because of a never-ending to do list and having to give so much of my energy to others. I also have moments where I am overridden by guilt that I am not doing enough for my family and my friends or I am not doing enough to pursue my own goals or for myself.
Being a carer since childhood has had consequences. One of the effects is my body being in chronic fight or flight mode. I have had periods of burn-out where I am literally just trying to get through each day. These burn-outs have forced me to become more aware of my own wellbeing and has made me recognise that I cannot look after others if I do not look after myself.


Despite the hardships, I believe that in my sacrifice of providing acts of service towards my family Allah (swt) has always given me more in return. There are countless examples to date that has taught me that when I aim to do something, Allah (swt) gives me the strength to achieve it. When I aimed to complete my studies, He stretched time for me to be able to submit my work. When I aimed to rest, He gave me the perfect conditions to rest. When I asked for help, He sent me support in various forms. Therefore, no matter how difficult it is to manage my roles and the effects on my health, I believe Allah (swt) returns all efforts.


All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. The True Equaliser.

Please check out the resources below if you are struggling with any of the themes mentioned in this blog.
If you identify as a carer or you know someone in that role, please make sure to fill out an adult support statement or a young carer’s statement with your local council. The benefits of this can be found in factsheet linked below. You can visit your nearest carers centre or access Amina MWRC Helpline to support with this on 0808 801 0301.

Information on Adult Carer Support and Young Carer’s Statements – [sdm_download id=”6604″ fancy=”0″]