Yet again I have stolen lyrics from a song. 10 points to whoever guesses the song first.
I haven’t got very far with my list of why I’m amazing, maybe because I don’t see what I’m doing as amazing. I think others who care are amazing, but for some reason cannot see the same qualities in myself. I know I have become much more patient while living with nan, a few years ago I could just about get through a weekend with nan, and now I’ve been here 10 months. I have also become much less self absorbed, as I am always thinking about how my actions will impact on nan, or anyone else. I have sort of given nan her freedom, she has been able to stay at home 10 months longer than planned, and I hope this has helped her feel healthier and maybe lengthened her life. I have noticed a big difference in myself as well, when I can force myself outside, I try and start a conversation with at least one stranger. I used to be the sort of person who would keep her head down, and not make eye contact. I now talk to the Big Issue lady, the cashiers, the lady in the queue next to me, somebody window shopping. I like the idea of community, when neighbours used to pop in for a cup of tea, and it upsets me that this is disappearing. Maybe if we all struck up conversation with one person a day, we can widen our networks and support?
Apparently I am also helping others with this blog, which is nice to know. I initially started with hopes of reaching just 100 people. Now I have topped 1000, and that number is steadily rising. To think that I have helped people understand dementia, how to cope with it, or being a carer at a young(ish) age really pushes me to keep writing.
Occasionally I do have feelings of regret, which the AN told me is normal. But makes me feel insanely guilty. Am I putting my life on hold for my nan? My fantasy is to travel round America, but I know while I’m living with nan I’ll never leave her to pursue it. I feel bad enough just looking for a job, let alone packing off to the USA for a year. I have it all planned out though, and hope to one day make this fantasy a reality.
For now I’m happy with my dream of keeping nan at home. We have been using ideas from all over the internet, to increase her mobility and mental awareness and I will be sharing some of our techniques in my next post.
An update from the last post, I have been exercising every day. (Kicking myself up the bum to do it was the hardest part!). I have been sleeping much better, and have downloaded an app that monitors my sleep pattern, and wakes me up during a light sleep cycle so I feel less groggy and less inclined to just hide under the duvet! As I also mentioned in the update I have also been out to a see a friend. And today I noticed a spark of the happier me back. Not fully out of the pit but certainly feeling more positive and ready to finish the climb out. So to any other carers or people suffering with stress and depression I want you to know there are others out there feeling the exact way you do. But with the right support network it is possible to help yourself out of it.