Share the Care

Share the Care

Managing the Community in Times When Extra Help Is Needed

I suppose it's not altogether surprising that as an adult of child of an alcoholic I'm often get so busy taking care of others, that I forget to take care of myself. In fact, it seems like “learning self care and care for others that doesn't diminish you” is practically the backbone of most al-anon recovery work. This is why I recommend the book Share the Care for anyone with a history of family alcoholism who is then thrown into any kind of intense caregiving situation.Share the Care is the blueprint for healthy caregiving and healthy caretaking. The basic premise is that if you spread the work of caregiving around, no one in the caregiving group needs to feel unduly burdened by the work of it. In addition, because the caregiving is done within a group, with structure and support, no one who is helping needs to feel overwhelmed or isolated. As a basic premise, it is really basic, but that's why it works, and it's especially needed for those of us who have been caregivers in unboundaried relationships. Share the Care is an embodiment of Robert Frost's “good fences make good neighbors” and because there are real, specific, and enforced boundaries in who does what for the person needing the care, Share the Care's model purports that caregiving can actually be a positive situation for both the person who needs the care and the people who are giving it. For people in al-anon groups, or adult children of alcoholics, this message and this model are almost revolutionary!