Stage 8: Caregiver Recovery is one step forward, five hundred light years back.
In case you've been wondering where Stumped Town Dementia's been lately I'll tell 'ya it takes a lot of time and effort to indulge in all the bad habits I've been courting. My dance card has been full damn near every night with saying "No!" to moderation, and "Come here, you sexy, sexy beast..." to gluttony.
After announcing last month that "I'M CHANGING MY LIFE!" I have had some success. For instance, I've finished four books since Mom died! That may not seem like much of an accomplishment but as I've been a voracious reader my entire life and then dropped it completely the last two years, it is progress on the path to finding myself again.
And I have hatched a new dementia caper, one that makes me tingle all over with excitement and fear!
That too is familiar territory for my former self. I've always dug abject terror mixed with the thrill of jumping off metaphorical cliffs.
But as I've made progress to reacquaint myself with myself, I've also reinforced roadblocks to stop me in my tracks; the drinking, smoking, non-stop eating, and the listlessness that accompanies such hobbies drags at me physically and mentally.
I have had little to no luck in denying myself anything as of late, whether it's laying in bed until 2 o'clock in the afternoon, or opening one more bottle of wine at 3 in the morning.
I've also been lonely. I'm thrilled that The Boyfriend in the Basement and I have our lives back, but I look around at times and think to myself, "Where'd everybody go?" This house was brimming with life while amongst death. People to share the day with, enjoy, annoy, and be annoyed by - at times I miss it all.
Lucky for me The Other Girl was also feeling solitary last week and invited me to come stay with her at the coast for the night.
Honestly, I could not get there fast enough.
As different as we are I've missed her. I've missed talking and laughing with the one person who understands what this journey has meant to us, given to us, taken from us.
We caught up on each others lives, talked about how we've coped with Stage 8, discovered that both of us don't often miss Mom but are still grieving Dad's accelerated departure from our lives 5 years ago.
I don't know if that sentiment makes sense to too many other folks, but for me I gave Mom everything I had to make her journey easier - I don't miss her because there was nothing else Mom or I could do for each other. I miss Dad because I was too late to provide him the same support - my need to have been there for him will always remain unfulfilled.
My sister understood, citing how she missed Dad's ability to "fix" everything, and how that occasionally irritating but always loving part of him is so needed now.
I woke up the next morning feeling alive again. Capable. Stronger (if not exactly strong... I mean, I still had a hangover - don't wanna go changing things too quickly).
I was a few light years ahead of where I was when I got there and that has given me a boost of courage to move a few more steps forward.
I started a cleanse today. One that will plop me on the road of shedding a pound or two while keeping me away from wine for the next five days. I am diving into the new dementia project, making plans, solving problems, and filled with hope that it will have a positive impact on the lives of people living with dementia and those of us who care for them. I am taking on Stage 8, determined to succeed in my recovery.
Space be damned. It's time to find that Lickety who was formerly planted firmly on this planet. How else am I gonna show the heaven's how it's done?
The daughters of Gary and Gloria.
Finding their way back.
Best get out of their way.