Finding ways to survive
I find it fascinating that I can be watching, reading or listening to something completely unrelated to dementia and suddenly hear something so relevant it takes my breath away. It happened a few months ago when I read an interview with Dawn French in which she said 'I saved myself' and I thought 'that's me' then last night I watched a documentary about Dolly Parton, one of my favourite singers, and at one point she was talking about when her popularity waned and no-one wanted to listen to her. This lasted for several years and, while talking about it, she said something that leapt out of the screen at me. She said 'I've had to find ways to survive' and again I thought 'that's me' and it is. Some people don't understand (or are admiring of) my positivity, they are bewildered (or surprised) by the fact that I seem to be permanently smiling and, very occasionally, I've been told I'm a saint. I'm very, very far from being a saint but the positivity and the smiles are my way of surviving this strange life we lead. Make no mistake, both of those things are real, they're not a front or an act, I am positive and I do smile a lot but that's because I've learned that if I can do those things then my life is easier, I feel better and I can look towards the future without quaking in my boots. Thursday was a difficult day for various reasons (including discovering the second pork pie of the week in an unexpected cupboard and finding that Ash had let the fire go out for the fourth night in a row) and I was sad for quite a lot of it but by early evening I'd worked through it all in my mind, sorted out for myself some changes I needed to make and went to bed happier. So I've found out what works for me but what works for you? What is it that gets you through this and how do you think it's changed you? Answers on a postcard please or a comment at the bottom of this post or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. It doesn't matter how you reply to either/both of those questions but I'm interested in what you think.