Dementia hits you suddenly and leaves you reeling. The doctor’s diagnosis, the shock, the phonecalls, rallying round of family. It’s a crazy few days after receiving this news.
You wake up a few days later and find yourself sitting alone, in silence, on a kitchen chair perhaps, and wonder if you are waking up from a strange dream. Is it real?
What were you thinking mum, dad? Did you even realise what it all meant? Maybe you thought
you did but, in actual fact, none of us knew what lay ahead.
Yet, the emptiness inside, the blank face, the pit in your stomach, the feeling of helplessness. All these motions coming together, it’s like you are floating weightlessly in air, it’s like you are two different people in one body. I cannot explain but you may know what I mean.
The beginning starts slow and you push your thoughts away. This is just another of those things which will go away soon, right? The days pass, one at a time. I know it’s an exaggeration, I know it is not how they said it would be. Or am I fooling myself? Am I closing my eyes and turning away from the changes, little though they may be at first.
People around you start to wonder, you see it in their eyes. Yet, what are they thinking? There is nothing wrong, is there?
But time has no mercy. You cannot stop it and one day you look in the mirror and admit to yourself that your sheltered, cosy life has been shaken. As you grow older, you become more set in your ways and you are very protective of your safe four walls. Woe betide anyone breaks this safety net of yours. Yet life is unforgiving and it hits you from all sides.
So what then? What do you do? How do you handle this ‘thing’, this phenomenon?
There is only one way and that is to face the storm together. Together and not alone, never alone. Reach out to your loved ones and they will keep you afloat.
Again, how do you face it? How? It’ s not a choice, it’s not something you can run away from.
Look again at the mirror and stare at the new you. That person looking at you is you, today, with whatever is changing inside you..but it is you! Accept it, lift your head up high and grab the hand of your loved one…then dive in together and take the ride.