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This, this, this, and...THAT!
I haven't been around for a couple months because it's going not so great. Ugh.
However, while I make no sense to me anymore, some other dementia folks are killing it! So I wrote about their successes, and, of course, my failures.
I think I understand a little of how you're feeling. I felt some of that once I started getting into a different rhythm after I placed Peggy in memory care. It's not like I don't have a care in the world, I'm still responsible for everything that has to do with Peggy - health, finances, etc. The only thing I'm not responsible for is the day to day personal care (which I don't have to tell you is huge). Not having to do that frees up some time.
But I find that I'm not "on" 24/7 anymore. Yes, I have my phone next to my bed, and Peggy's memory care facility will get through to me even if I have "do not disturb on" (I set it up that way). Now that I'm not "on" all the time, I can do activities/work that I couldn't do while Peggy was home. My "fight or flight" reflexes aren't on overdrive, and my emotional burden has been lessened. I know that Peggy is well-taken care of - 3 meals a day, snacks, structured activities, she's clean, her clothes are clean - she always looks good. But there's a come down feeling from that. And that come down feeling frees up space in the brain to process everything that we've had to do that we hate. In my case, finding a home for her cat (no pets allowed in her memory care facility), selling her car, etc. There's guilt there.
I wouldn't say that it's a PTSD feeling, but I think if we, as caregivers, aren't careful, we can develop PTSD. That's my theory anyway. But when you say you have feelings of ennui, I know what you mean.
I don't know how I'll feel if I outlive Peggy.
That makes sense, Goth, what you said about the time to process. Maybe I'm just avoiding that part? Can't go there yet? So isolation and all my bad behaviors are the walls I'm building to keep me where I think I'm safe? I dunno. I do know the therapist is helping, although she's really more focused on my drinking, which isn't a bad thing, but I don't know if she's going to be much help with diving deeper.
But hey, maybe if I can get the drinking under control I can figure the rest out myself!
Thank you for understanding and helping me out.
I think you were forced to be an introvert during your caregiver stage combined with covid stay at home rules. You got used to it and now going out and about seems like a big non enjoyable effort. Then there’s the effort you put into your documentary - traveling, talking, etc, After being at home with just a few people around for so long, that trip might have overwhelmed you.
I do also think you might be burnt out from meeting other people’s needs( mom, sister, boyfriend) and isolating with your phone and your self- medications ( cigarettes and alcohol) seems less stressful that being around people that might have needs.
I’m sure your professional will tell you to slowly add things and people in- meet someone for a casual lunch this week, find a social event next week , etc.
You may never be as social or as active as you once were. You may always need more quiet alone time than before…. And that’s ok.