A double edged sword
The positive benefits of my week away can still be seen. Smiles are all around, jokes are still being made and offers of help are everywhere. Even a visit from our social worker failed to dent Ash's mood and he was chatty, welcoming and good humoured all the way through. We hadn't met her before and I was a little anxious that all Jake's good work last week might be undone but she was lovely and I had no need to worry.
I went for my final tanning session before giving myself up to the new sun loungers in the garden for the rest of the summer and left with Ash's teasing in my ears then spent the afternoon gardening side by side with him as he weeded, trimmed and tidied almost like the old days.
In fact life at the moment bears such a close resemblance to the old days that I really should be very happy but .........
I've got used to being on my own, to living in a silent house, to being taken no notice of whatsoever and this is taking some getting used to. Life is definitely more fun here than it was but I know it won't last and then what? If I let my guard down for one minute I know I could end up in the dark days of before and I've worked so hard to get to this very, very good place that I can't take the risk. So I join in with the jokes, I laugh at stupid stuff with him, I put a smile in my voice and a glow in my eyes and I pretend. I put a lot of effort into the pretence and it seems to be working so that's good for both of us but it's no use imagining that life can ever be what it was and self preservation seems to be the key.
This may seem a sad post but it's not meant to be I promise. I'm enjoying spending time with this Ash who's nicer, calmer, less anxious and less irritable; an Ash who doesn't get cross with me, who seems to like my company and is appreciative of everything I do. We both benefited so much from last week and I'll work as hard as possible and for as long as possible to keep those benefits but life is never going to return to normal or even continue like this indefinitely and it's no use pretending otherwise. Dementia has taught me to be a realist and to that end I need to make the most of the here and now, enjoy what's happening and not be taken by surprise when everything changes once again. Which of course it will.
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