This morning while attending one of our Dementia Alliance International Peer to Peer Support Groups, we ended up having a great conversation about the joy that comes once you reach the place in your Dementia Journey to let go. To let go of the old belief systems that make us feel like we have to keep pushing, to keep doing all that we once did, for surely if we don’t its another strike against us in our fight to stay independent and to continue to live fully. That somehow society and those around us will see it as further reasons to take away our rights and freedoms. We put these expectations on ourselves though, and once we realize we no longer have to we enjoy a freedom and sense of joy. When we acknowledge and accept that having a volunteer to help us with the things we struggle with actually enhances our life, allows our energies to be placed on living our best life. To be able to contribute in meaningful ways, that allow us to have a sense of purpose and provides us with a great deal of self worth. It started by me sharing with the group that I know have a wonderful volunteer who has made life so much better for me, she has remote access to my computer, she keeps my calendars, set up, my meetings organized, my work organized. This allows me to do the work I want to do instead of being overwhelmed with administration type work that I can no longer manage. I am so grateful that I quit fighting the feeling that it somehow diminished me if I accepted help, for in fact it has done the opposite because now I feel fresh and meetings, feel like I can and have what I need for things I am working on, I am no longer scrambling. I feel more confident to do and continue doing the work I like. I was overwhelmed trying to manage all the pieces, my volunteer has ensured I can no focus on the meat of the work, instead of the behind the scenes stuff. Others went on to talk about how they have given themselves to use volunteers in various ways, others have decided that they will look into starting to use them. This is the essence of the support groups, to help and share with each other so we can continue to live our best life. Others talked about how giving in and letting go and allowing ourselves to rest, to nap, to remove ourselves from events when they become too much, or we become fatigued, has given them a better quality of life. It allows us to fully engage and participate to the level that is good for us as individuals. Others talked about the freedom found when they decided to accept various aids, so whether it be for walking, hearing, visual, whatever they are allow them to enhance and enrich your life rather than fight them. Enjoy the freedom and joy found in letting go of the old worries and weights that life and society has put on us, and enjoy the new found freedom of letting go. We don’t have to do it all ourselves, we don’t have to push through 8 or 10 hour days, its ok to nap as often as you want and it’s perfectly ok to spend the day and sit and let your self do nothing. If we look at it as time to recharge and be ok with recharging as often as necessary, our journey with dementia will be more joyful, because we are no longer fighting things that are just not worth fighting.