If we are open to seeing things from a different perspective, we allow ourselves the value of learning from others. We learn that as we grow and change so can our perspectives on many topics. Being open, being willing to challenge our own believe systems, allows us to truly grow.
I have recently had the opportunity to look at how I viewed aspects of my life, my thoughts, my perspectives. What I am referring to is about living life alone. I was ( love to say that…was ) alone for many years. I believed that being on my own was good, that I wasn’t missing our lacking anything. I was fiercely independent, I was very capable. When I was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia, that independence intensified. I was so determined to be able to care for myself, learning, finding ways to help myself, all the while thinking that I was luckier than all those who had a partner, I felt that fighting so hard to stay as well as I could meant I had to stand alone, be alone. Oh how very wrong I was. That is not to say that having and maintaining that drive to fight to stay as well as possible should not still be a very big part of life for me, but I have learnt that having a partner, having someone who cares about your well being, mind, heart and soul, all of you, you can actually relax, spend more time living and enjoying life, instead of fighting so hard to stay standing each and every day.
I don’t want to take away from those who are and do live alone, I know often it is not by choice, it is by life circumstances, and I believe we should give those who are living alone our greatest respect for it is not an easy road, although many of us try to portray that it is. I realize know that with each passing day I was becoming more and more isolated, I also believed that I did not have the right to expect anyone else to have to live through my diagnosis with me. I now fully realize that the right person will love you no matter what. Just as you would them. That we are still worthy of complete love, of being cared for and cherished. We are worthy of having someone to share the journey of our dementia and even more of this life we have been given to live.
I most certainly have and know in my heart, I never want to have to live the solo life again, it taught me a lot, it showed me how capable I am and can be, it taught me what I can survive, but I do not want to just survive, I want to be fully alive. Sharing the joys, the laughter, the tears, the ups and downs, having someone to laugh at all the blunders with makes the road so much better. I believe it is better for not only my mental health, but for my overall health, I believe it taking the stress off of getting through another day, getting through another challenge, as taken stress off my brain, meaning less dementia symptoms. Oh yes, I still have symptoms, but managing them has become easier, focusing on life rather than illness has been a great blessing.
So my view point and my perspective has changed, and hats off to all those who are still walking this walk alone, I most certainly have learnt much from all of you, and I hope you from me to some degree, but if given the choice, I will choose this one, where I have someone to share life with, yes I am strong, yes I have been so independent, but I am happy to take a breath, let go and allow someone else to care for me. That was something I thought I would never be able to do, but all it took was the right person.
I am glad I have always been willing to learn from others, to see other perspectives, to be willing to change my own thought and believe systems that have allowed my life to be so rich. I am grateful, I am blessed, I have survived tragedy and trauma’s, I have learnt from them all, it has all allowed me to look for the blessings of my diagnosis, and I keep receiving more. Life will never be perfect, it will have ups and downs, but I will willingly share that.