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by Abigail Van Buren

Old Friend Declines to Attend Wedding She Can't Endorse

DEAR ABBY: I am a disabled vet, long divorced. My significant other is a widow eight years older than I am, who suffers from advanced arthritis. I love her with all my heart, but I have become a full-time caregiver when I pretty much need someone to take care of me. I find myself almost wishing she would pass, so I could lay down and die myself. Any thoughts? -- WORN OUT IN THE CAROLINAS

DEAR WORN OUT: Yes, but before I share them I want to thank you for your service to our country.

As much as you love your lady friend, your own health must come first. For both your sakes, you must not allow taking care of her to make you sick.

Does she have family who could help out? If not, perhaps social services can guide you in finding someone to assist her with the duties you have taken on. However, before doing that, please talk with your doctor and tell him or her what you have written to me because the feelings you describe may be symptoms not only of exhaustion but also depression, which is treatable.