I realised this morning that it's three years today since we were told Ash had dementia and I've been thinking about how much has changed over that time. I emailed Jake to tell him and his response was to ask how I was feeling. All I could say was that I feel an awful lot better now than I did three years ago. Then I was distraught; I felt my life was over (not Ash's you might note, just mine) and I was terrified of what the future might hold. Three years on I've come to terms with it all and I have to tell you that life is easier than I would have thought possible. It's not perfect but then life rarely is, there are times when it takes all my self control not to scream with frustration and there are times when I look back and feel sad at what we've lost but on the whole life could, and has been, much worse. Ash may not be able to do many of the things he used to do, he might have bouts of fear and frustration but on the whole, if I manage things carefully, he's calm and relaxed. As for me, as I said in the article I wrote for Young Dementia UK recently https://wwwyoungdementiauk.org/jane-looks-back-2020, post diagnosis my life has definitely taken a turn for the better. I've lost the old Ash but I've realised he was actually long gone before that fateful day, our plans for a future together have gone up in smoke but that doesn't mean there isn't a future and, with a certain amount of determination, I can see that it's possible to navigate this new world of ours and still have plenty to smile about. Life is grim right now for lots and lots of people so it seems only right to focus on the good and work my way through any difficulties that come my way in the run up to the next anniversary.
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