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Advocating

Rest and Recovery Mode

Rest and Recovery Mode is the only way I can describe myself at the moment. This is day 9 or 10 since getting this flu bug, and it is a nasty one. But I didn’t get up until 815 this morning which for all who know me is so very out of character, normally I am up between 5 and 530 am no matter when I go to bed or whats happening. So to be in bed till after 8 is a clear indication to me that my system is recovering, or at least thats what I am hoping. I do believe I am on the mend, hoping by weeks end I will see much improvement. Funny how different things are now, in the past I would have been pushing myself to still do and manage more, but one thing my dementia has taught me is that when my system needs attention then I need to do as it is telling me. I paid a very high price with my health by not doing that years ago, even though I do and will always say my dementia has brought about unexpected gifts, and blessings.

The Christmas season is upon us and with that comes added pressures for all, and for those living with Dementia it may be about trying to meet expectations of others that we no longer actually are able to or comfortable trying to meet. For many others this season brings about great sadness, sometimes depression and loneliness, it is not and can’t always be about happy and gleeful joy, sometimes we need to allow room for moments of joy and sadness and whatever other feelings come along. I hope this season many will make room for others to do and spend Christmas in ways that are best for them even if we don’t understand it. If what they need is a quiet cup of tea away from all the festivities then I hope they are offered that. Make space for others to talk and share to whatever degree about whatever they may need or want to, be present with them is the best present. Not everyone celebrates and thats ok to, everyone has reasons and it is not always our place to try to change or fix or do anything other than just support them in however they need to manage this season. It has so many meanings, in so many ways too so many.

For me, you may or may not receive a Christmas card, don’t be offended if you did in the past and now don’t, not sure how much energy I will have to put to that stuff, this has been a hard year for myself like so many others, so be gentle to all you see, be forgiving and understanding and I hope as the year winds down we all bring a new found gentleness into 2023. I found this write up and it really struck me so thought this was the perfect place to share it.

A gentle reminder about why you are utterly exhausted… 

No one I know began this year on a full tank.  Given the vicious onslaught of the previous two years  (let’s just call it what it was) most of us dragged ourselves across the finish line of 2021… frazzled, spent, running on aged adrenaline fumes… 

We crawled into 2022 still carrying shock, trauma, grief, heaviness, disbelief… The memories of a surreal existence… 

And then it began… The fastest hurricane year we could ever have imagined. Whether we have consciously processed it or not, this has been a year of more pressure, more stress, and a race to “catch up” in all departments… Every. Single. One. Work, school, sports, relationships, life…  

Though not intentionally aware, perhaps hopeful that the busier we are, the more readily we will forget… the more easily we will undo the emotional tangle… the more permanently we will wipe away the scarring wounds… 

We can’t. 

And attempts to re-create some semblance of “normal” on steroids while disregarding that for almost two years our sympathetic nervous systems were on full alert, has left our collective mental health in tatters. Our children and teens are not exempt. The natural byproduct of fighting a hurricane is complete and utter exhaustion… 

So before you begin questioning the absolutely depleted and wrung-dry state you are in- Pause. Breathe. Remind yourself of who you are and what you have endured. And then remind yourself of what you have overcome. 

Despite it all, you’re still going. (Even on the days you stumble and find yourself face down in a pile of dirt). 

Understanding brings compassion… 

Most of the world’s citizens are in need of a little extra TLC at the moment. Most are donning invisible “Handle with care” posters around their necks and “Fragile” tattoos on their bodies… 

Instead of racing to the finish line of this year, tread gently. Go slowly.

Amidst the chaos, find small pockets of silence. Find compassion. Allow the healing. And most of all… Be kind. There’s no human being on earth who couldn’t use just a little bit more of the healing salve of kindness. 

With love ♥️

Powerful and poignant words of insight by

Naomi Holdt – Psychologist and Speaker

I don’t have any wants or needs at this point other than to simply enjoy those who stay in touch and enjoy quiet visits. I hope to maintain being able to work on my advocacy for at least one more year, that is yet to be seen, but I will continue to fight to continue my work, especially with the CCNA and AGE-Well, they are places where I feel I am valued and contributing to the work they do makes me feel like I still have a purpose. Spending the winter with my little Pheobe, hoping as springs unfolds that I will once again be tackling some things on my bucket list. There is people I want to see and spend time with, places I want to go, things I want to participate in. Yes even those of us with Dementia still have hopes and dreams.

I hope wherever you are you feel supported and loved and I hope you share your stories, to inspire others. I am grateful that once again I have rallied, even knowing each illness becomes a harder fight. Be well, Be still, know that is ok to just BE..that is enough. I am off to rest now.

By WWW.Chrissy's Journey.com

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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