Time to myself

 So no blog post for nearly two weeks and of course there's a reason for that.

Dementia moves at its own pace but I thought I had a handle on it all.  In fact I was so confident I had a handle on it all that I got cocky and began to relax.

I'd decided, as you know, that I couldn't leave Ash for any length of time. I'd cancelled my twice weekly walks and spread the word that I wouldn't be able to go out for coffee and I thought all of that was entirely manageable.  Instead of the walks I'd start the 'Couch to 5K' programme (30 minute runs 3 times a week), instead of going out for coffee I'd ask people to come here and life could still offer some proximity to normality.  Except it hasn't quite worked out like that.

A few months ago someone asked me how I managed to get things done with Ash following me around all the time and I blithely replied 'oh he doesn't do that, he's perfectly happy on his own' and he was.  Now however he isn't and if I'm out of his sight for longer than 5 minutes he comes to find me.

He's not unhappy, he's not cross, he just wants to know where I am every minute of his waking hours and it's driving me crazy.  He doesn't like me being on the computer, he doesn't want me to talk to people on the phone and I'm beginning to suffer from claustrophobia.

It's now the middle of the afternoon and I'm able to type this because he thinks I'm doing paperwork for my mum, an activity he thinks of as important so it's allowed.  I discovered this excuse because I started out the afternoon doing just that and then managed to stay in the office for a little while longer.  I'm now trying to think of other excuses I can use but then again I can use this again and again for a while and he won't remember.  The reason isn't important, as we know, the fact that he's comfortable with it is.

So I'm confined to barracks and I can't even go out for those 30 minute runs.  I really thought I would be able to because I wasn't out for very long and my car was here but neither of those things helped.  I got home and the anxiety showed on his face.  I decided it wasn't worth it especially as I spent the whole time I was out worrying about him.  No runs then, no visits on my own to the hairdressers or the beauticians, from now on wherever I go Ash goes too and it's taking some getting used to.

Have I managed to get any time to myself at all I hear you ask.  The answer is 'a little'.  I get us up to bed early so that I can be alone in my room; I get up very early in the morning in order to savour the silence; I'm back to travelling the world on my treadmill (The Azores and Gozo up to now); I still watch programmes or listen to podcasts on my laptop in a evening which works because Ash can see me; last week I had a couple of hours in the (empty) house of a friend while S was here and, on Saturday, Ash decided to do some more fence painting which meant I had almost 2 hours to myself.  Those last two were heaven and made me realise how much I need time spent in silence.

Life isn't all dreary of course.  Friends have been to visit, I have days out planned with the help of S, Ash is happy and time moves on but there's the rub.  Time moves on but life seems to be standing still and sometimes that can be a very exhausting thing.

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Cornwall Girl said…
this too will pass xx
Jane said…
and that's what keeps me going.
Tehachap said…
Joined at the hip... I'm right there with you. Robert doesn't want to leave the house; more than that, he doesn't like ME leaving the house either. I think it's a self-preservation thing because he is absolutely lost without me. The thought that something would happen to me must be frightening, and I really can't blame him. Even here in the house, he goes looking for me. (Just like Ash does with you...) This was a very interesting blog post that I found in my inbox today. It really fits with what we're dealing with. https://www.everydaygyaan.com/six-months-of-going-with-the-flow/ Hang in there, and I'll try to do the same.
Jane said…
Will have a look at that blog post, thanks. Ash is happy, mostly, to leave the house and does still take the dog for a walk but whereas he used to be out on those walks for at least an hour twice a day now I'm lucky if he's gone for 15 minutes. He really doesn't want me leaving the house without him and, like you say, I know it's because he's frightened when he's on his own. I hate him feeling frightened and that knowledge is the one thing that keeps me here and has me biting my tongue.