Lists are the way forward
Recently I've been putting my mind to this new attitude I've discovered within me and wondering how I got here. As you'll know if you're living alongside dementia it's been a long hard slog which began a long time before that diagnosis and at times it's been a roller coaster of emotions but I think the breakthrough came when I realised I couldn't live under a cloud for ever more. This is my life as well as Ash's and it seems to me that the best way forward for both of us is if, more than occasionally, I focus on me and what I want to do with the rest of my days. Those not closely involved can sometimes ask the question 'why don't you leave?' but that isn't an option here and even in the really bad times I've never considered it. We've been together of over forty years and he's been by my side taking care of me for most of that time, in fact right up until he really, really couldn't so now it's my turn but that doesn't mean I have to lose myself along the way I just have to think outside the box. I'm determined to make him happy and his life as easy as it can be but there has to be something else for me, something to make me feel whole again. Living in the moment is all very well, as I've said before, but if living in the moment means getting used to staying at home and stagnating as a way of life then that's not for me. I understand that others are fulfilled by their caring role but I'm not. I do it because I love him, because he was my best friend and because I never thought I would have to live without him but I don't accept that this is the best my life can be so for all of you out there who really don't want to settle for a second best life here is my plan. I've discovered lists; lists of places I want to visit in the future, lists of films I want to watch, lists of adventures I want to have, lists of holidays I want to enjoy, lists, lists, lists. There seems to be no end to my lists and every one of them contains lots and lots of things to look forward to, my future in fact, and that's something I thought I'd lost a long time ago.
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