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Some parting thoughts.
GMorrill
Posted: Friday, June 17, 2022 12:14 PM
Joined: 5/23/2018
Posts: 2


Thoughts that have helped me retain a little more sanity

I started my journey with my wife's Alzheimer's at least 15 years ago. That's with hindsight and noting the first behavior change that really stands out. In real time it crept up on me slowly enough that I didn't know it was happening until 7 years later. Under my own power I already had moderate (didn't feel that moderate) anxiety / depression. Alzheimer's helped take me to a very bad place. Every philosophy that has helped me survive has been created while looking through that lens. I'm unique and fortunately so is everybody else. YMMV

1) Often Strength is Just a Lack of Options

When I realized my wife's condition, my mind was shouting at me to run away. I'd whisper to myself that I didn't have the strength. This was the best that I could come up and is still a comfort today.

2) Sadness Lies in the Past Despair in the Future

I tend to live in the past and future. Places where I can easily make myself miserable. When I'm in the moment I generally find myself in the living room and nothing is happening that I can't handle

3) Don't be Tired

Anything that fills the blank in "I'm so tired of _____." has defeated me. I can't be tired of something without it happening in the past and / or expecting it to go on in the future. I refer to number 2 above.

3) Not Unhappy

Imagining what happiness would look like only helped me create a list of things that were making me unhappy. For me not being unhappy is at least halfway to happiness and a lot easier to achieve.

4) Reality Isn't

This has been covered by everything from the greatest philosophers the world has ever known to bumper stickers. I've read the bumper stickers. I'm pretty sure that the universe actually is out to get me but it's not going to do it by beaming universal frustrated or sad realities my way. That means that I can change my reality by changing my mind, eventually, most of the time. There is the possibility that my reality will collide with the reality of things like; a falling boulder, an angry badger or concepts like; the ability to breath under water, fly unassisted, etc. Many things and actions have immutable realities so I don't jump in front of moving garbage trucks no matter what my personal reality is telling me.

5) The Glass is Not Half Full

My wife at her low points has confused, feeble spells and sleeps an awful lot. I watch her sleep and try not to cry too much. On the other hand when she's sleeping she's not shadowing me and I get to go sit in a room all by myself for a bit. Good is good, bad is bad. One glass is full, the other is empty. 

6) Forgive Every Thing

This one was huge for me. "Every thing" is two words for a reason. I forgive specific things one at a time and they fade away if not permanently at least for a while. For instance: alzheimer's, sleepless nights and awful mornings, my impatience, etc. For months every morning when I woke I would write FET on my calendar touching each letter and speaking the words.  

7) Stand Up and Face the Cold

When I've gone out in a cold wind while not dressed warmly enough I've discovered I don't feel as cold when I stand up straight and face the wind. I've applied the same concept to my relationship with Alzheimer's. I feel like I have some control when I'm facing something unpleasant instead of trying to hide from it.

8) I forget these things

I use a free mindfulness app on my phone to randomly pop up reminders. Each reminder is also time to remember to breathe.

These are my reminders:

* stay out of the future

* stay out of the past

* tedium is part of my life, accept and forgive it 

* slow down

* one thing at a time

* resentment cannot exist without a past

* regret cannot exist without a past

* tired cannot exist without a past

* sadness is part of me, accept and forgive it

* fear is part of me, accept and forgive it

* frustration is part of me, accept and forgive it

* pain is part of me, accept and forgive it

* be as happy as you want whenever you can

9) Offer a Toast

Every evening I offer my best wishes to all of us. It helps me to think that somewhere out there someone offers their best to me. Something special shared anonymously.

I'm going to go now and leave this behind. If you're reading this thanks for your time. If you're part of the vast majority of people that aren't reading this I like you anyway. Refer to item 9 above


GothicGremlin
Posted: Friday, June 17, 2022 6:09 PM
Joined: 4/7/2019
Posts: 395


I'm sending you my best, GMorrill.  And thank you for that wise post.


SusanB-dil
Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2022 11:39 AM
Joined: 9/10/2021
Posts: 374


Hi GMorrill - 

a simple 'thanks' for posting that.


Joydean
Posted: Sunday, June 26, 2022 5:59 PM
Joined: 10/10/2021
Posts: 785


GMorrill, hello, and here’s a toast to you!  Thank you, I enjoyed reading your post!
toolbeltexpert
Posted: Sunday, June 26, 2022 8:56 PM
Joined: 4/17/2018
Posts: 779


Gmorrell thanks for your time. Here's a toast to you.
bcjbost
Posted: Thursday, July 7, 2022 6:56 AM
Joined: 1/10/2022
Posts: 1


G.M.,
I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts for others, like myself, to read and digest. It is a gift for you making your wife the center of your life through such a difficult time for your both and I can only imagine how appreciative she is to have you by her side caring for her. The majority of ppl do not have what you have deep inside, the need to care for a loved one, no matter the affect on you. No one truly knows the life of a dementia patient until you are fully immersed into their world caring for them. It can seem as a very cruel and  unsettling world for all. I often feel alone and incapable of providing comfort for my mother, but every time she looks at me and has a big smile, I know that is all that is necessary and everything else is topping on her cake. Since the passing of her husband a year ago, I thrust myself into her world caring for her and she hasn't been alone since. A huge change for my family, thankfully I have an angel of a wife helping me through much of my low points. I moved in with my mother immediately 200 mi from my home to care for her, returning to my family each month for a week or so to minimize the confusion for my mother. Not an easy feat but we all find a way to make it happen as best as we can. No one way is the best way which is why this forum is great to find similarities and commiserate to help others ; ).

Stay as positive and as happy as you can be. I wish for you to continue to share your thoughts as I would tend to believe more ppl read your posts than you realize, translating to you helping all those who read your thoughts no matter how big or small. You have impactful commentary that should be shared for the rest of us to benefit.

Thank you,

BCJ


jfkoc
Posted: Friday, July 8, 2022 1:50 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 20915


thank you!!!
Sashie
Posted: Monday, July 11, 2022 10:33 AM
Joined: 7/10/2022
Posts: 2


Thanks for posting and here’s a toast to you!