Advocating Christine Thelker © 2020 Dementia Event For This I Am Grateful Good Grief Life Living well with Dementia Silver Linings Stress

Finding Peace

I have been on a journey, not only with my dementia but a journey of life it seems. A journey that I was not expecting, but that I will be eternally grateful that Ended up on. Many years ago I took a course and became a certified Critical Incident Stress Debriefer. Critical incident Debriefers work with people ( including first responders who are often deep in the throws of very traumatic events.) it was an intense program done here through the Justice institute of BC. It triggers huge emotional responses to our own traumas, they prepare you for them, they help you navigate them. I learnt a lot through that program, how trauma can stay within us, how it effects us without us even being aware, I also knew that I had things that for me were so traumatic, and trauma can have many different looks, life events that may not be traumatic for one e person can be so traumatic for another they have trouble functioning. I had events that I didn’t think I would ever be wading into, I thought it would all stay buried and locked away. But recently I have been put on a path that+would see much of that, that has been buried, much I was not even able to remember, until know. Life circumstances brought much of it forward. I am so grateful that it has, for know I have inner peace that has been missing for so much of my life.

It has left me to think about all that I learnt in that program and wonder how much trauma plays a role in people and dementia. It would make sense to me that the connection is there. The incredible amount of work and energy your brain has to do on a daily basis to protect you from trauma that is to painful must exhaust the brain. Years and years of it must take a toll. I haven’t seen any studies on the link between the two, but knowing my own history, I am sure there is one.
The nice thing about wading into it, unlocking pieces bit by bit, those things that were so traumatic no longer are, in that is where we find peace.

There is admittedly pieces that are still blanks for me, likely it will always be this way, my brain protecting me, but the difference now is that it’s ok, I have such peace within me, that the past and all that is buried is ok buried, it no longer haunts me. I am and can just leave it there and focus on forward and this incredible peacefulness. I am no longer restless, I am no longer searching, for that that I didn’t even know I was searching for because all that trauma kept me from being able to see it. I finally feel like I can relax into life. Funny enough my brain fogs are not as bad, I guess because my brain is not so incredibly fatigued trying to protect me from things it thought I could not manage. Truthfully, until life put all the right pieces into place I admittedly would not have been able to manage them. I am so grateful that I have been open to allowing the universe to bring things and put things into my life at the right times.

Delving into your past and to painful and traumatic events must be done carefully, with tenderness, allowing yourself time, rest being and having the right supportive person to support you emotionally through the things that surface. It is hard hard work, it can be painful, but allowing it to surface walking into to the face of it is so good. My brain is happier, my sleep is better, my clarity is better, better, better, better on so many levels, my body is not stressed or tense. Even my physiotherapist could not believe how much better my body is, not tensed and stressed, things that you don’t even realize are all part of your body carrying to big a load. I have apologized to my self, to my brain. Our brain health is way to underrated, we need to do more to ensure people understand the importance of brain health.

Doing all the unpacking of things from the past so that they, and ultimately me, letting things be able to rest know, let’s my body and soul rest. The things, pieces and parts that are still buried, can stay there, it can all rest now, I no longer feel I need to push my brain and my body to remember, maybe some things are meant to stay buried. My dementia will never be gone, but if this unpacking of events helps my brain, then it will allow me to keep living a full life for a longer period of time, at least I believe it will.

People who have known me for 20+ years have been saying they have never seen me look so good, or have this sense of calm they see, they saw it before I did. I am spending the majority of my time now on life, living, instead of having to focus on just surviving another day.

I have found “home” in the true sense of the word, I am where I belong, my searching is over, home is where your heart is and your heart knows and when your heart finds its way home, your mind body and soul feel it, respond to it and the universe will just keep making it better. There will be more to this part of the journey in time, for now I am protecting it, taking care of it.

I you are lucky enough to find home for your heart, so your brain can rest easier, your heart can be content and together they can make your dementia days less troublesome, cherish it make it a priority, make yourself a priority.

By WWW.Chrissy's

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

One reply on “Finding Peace”

Christine, Much like you I have that peace that you describe so eloquently. What a beautiful writer and so willing to share your journey to help others on their own journeys. Bless you dear friend with much love and happiness always. Life’s journey is not easy, and as you said there are things that seem unclimbable, but taking that first step shows bravery and the beginning of really knowing how much strength someone has.


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