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Advocates Advocating Christine Thelker © 2020 Dementia Event For This I Am Grateful Living well with Dementia Silver Linings

A Powerful Day


This speaks volumes to me, sometimes healing is not because anything bad has happened, sometimes it’s about healing your mind, body and soul, when it’s tired. We often push ourselves, to keep going, because we feel a sense of commitment and obligation, when in truth, each and everyone of us no matter what our title or position, has a duty first and above all else to take care of our commitment to ourselves and our well being, for only when we can recognize that we need to readjust our lives, to take time for our selves, can we then heal our bodies. Stress kills, even when we’ve convinced ourselves it’s good stress because we believe in something so strongly, stress still kills, silently and slowly and sometimes quickly, sometimes the damage can be strokes, heart attacks and other things, sometimes we don’t get to come back from those things, so if we keep pushing beyond what is reasonable and for each of us is different, some people don’t have the ability to recognize when it’s time for them to change things to put more into self care, some people won’t even look at it if they are told.
I am a realistic person, I do look at ask myself the hard questions am willing to step up and say I can no longer do this piece, or that bit, I can own it. I learnt many years ago from a very wise doctor, who said to me, that the best way to help ourselves is being willing to look at ourselves and be honest with ourselves. I am as guilty as anyone of piling more on, not wanting to say no, ignoring what my body is telling me, but luckily I only push that envelope so far. For I am also a firm believer if I am pushing to hard , I cannot be effective in the ways that I want to be.
So check in time as come, no I’m not in a mental health crisis, the complete opposite actually, you see when you are willing to do what’s necessary if if it’s not maybe what you had wanted or planned, it is actually a very good way to stay mentally well.
My specialist says he doesn’t worry about my mental health like he would some others, because I am willing and do do what’s necessary for my well being. I believe after a very difficult year and half with health challenges, many still on going, and the challenges of living with and through a pandemic, it was time for me to take some much needed time for self care.
I am still doing things I feel I can manage, but I do not have a schedule that I can’t manage. One thing that did happen was that the pandemic found the use of zoom become standard, so it became more and more, tied to a computer, I am not tied to a computer anymore, I am not being managed by it, I am managing it. Attending what I can as I want when I can.
I am spending a lot of time out in nature today I spent 11 hours in the woods discovering an area that I have always wanted to see but never have. I discovered a magnificent waterfall, listening to the water thunder and roar as it crashed over the rocks of the canyon wall, so powerful, I had a chat with a moose that was as surprised to see me as I was him, incredible beauty, and strength, he jumped out of the woods, just about hitting the car, looking surprised that I was there, he took two large yet some graceful strides and was on the opposite side of the road, I got out of the car, he took a couple steps back, I took a couple steps forward we looked at each other, I felt his strength and power, those two things alone were filled me up, reminded me of my strength and resilience. I have also been wanting to take pictures of cows, I love cows, and for two years I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to take pictures of them, it came today, driving down the last stretch of the trip into the woods, I was stopped by a man waving a switch, as I looked over to my left , I saw, they were herding cattle, to move them, I got out my camera and was delighted as they came thundering across the road, the young ones so cute, and I happily snapped some photos. It was a powerful day, it gave me so very much. I will go back to that area many many more times. I am relaxed, feeling much peace, and knowing whatever and however I do things going forward, I will always do what I need to too ensure I can stay as well as I can, mind,body,soul. I also understand that just because it is how I live my life other people will not agree with, but at the end of the day, I am responsible for my life, it is only me who I can rely on, I live alone, so if I don’t do what’s best for me then I would be jeopardizing the very quality of life I have advocated for others living with dementia to have. So for me it’s about doing my very best living until dementia stops me in my tracks. I am grateful for all I learnt from 10 hours in the woods.

By Chrissy's Journey

I am an advocate for people with dementia in Canada and globally, having been diagnosed with younger onset dementia myself a few years ago.

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