Out the other side of the rabbit hole?

So here we are, 2 1/2 years since I last posted. I’ve tried several different approaches to this and all have failed, so now it’s Gordian Knot time:

The short version is that not long after the last thing I posted, my little world had a big earthquake. I lost myself in the rubble and it’s taken this long to start digging out.

That year brought my husband, Mr. Pixel, several major health crises- a heart attack, then odd behaviors that presaged a “small” stroke- both supposedly 100% recoverable. They weren’t, and after many doctors and false starts, dementia was found to be the culprit. In the midst of this, I was laid off, had my own stress-related health problems, and we decided to move across the country to be closer to his family.

It was a rather full year, and dear god, let there never be another like it.

The new digs.

The new digs.

For a long time 110% of life was stroke rehab, moving and attempts at acclimation. Then came getting the sort of job I’ve never had- physical work in a big box store close to home so I can come on the run if need be. Then surgeries on his knee, the loss of beloved pets, and things got rough. Money was tight. Time was tighter. Guilt grew as patience wore thin- a year and a half of low sleep, high stress and I was really wearing out.

Thankfully, things took a dramatic turn for the better when Mr. P was prescribed Aricept six months ago. It can’t stop or even slow the disease, but it can mask its symptoms for a time and give him back much of what he’s lost. The drug only works for 20% of patients, so it’s been nothing short of a miracle and we’ll forever be grateful.

And yet…

Every day for the last two years I’ve been a little more stressed. A little less connected to myself. No matter what I did, I couldn’t relax or get over the feeling that another shoe was about to drop splat on my head. When I was able to stop focusing on him and thinking about myself a little, I found I was in a very deep depression.

I missed my friends. My garden. My house. Mostly, I missed having my husband the way he was. In short I missed my life.

I’d lost myself along the way, coming to resent our new surroundings- as if they were the real problem. I haven’t done  anything creative in forever- taking time for myself seemed selfish. Couldn’t even find my camera in the moving debris in the house, and writing? That’s a joke. Hell, I hadn’t even read a full book in a year, so the idea of writing seemed ludicrous.

And then...

Last week I searched out a post I’d done when the topic of adult toys (really) came up with a co-worker. And I read a bunch of what I’d written before. And I looked at the pictures. And I remembered who I used to be.  And that other shoe really did drop right on my head: I remembered who I need to get back to.

So here I am. I love my husband, but “caretaker” cannot be my whole life’s description. He doesn’t want that, and never asked for it. I recently asked him what more I could do for him, and he said, “I just wish you were happier.” Clearly, this one is on me.

Hiking and planting and roadtripping, oh my!

Hiking and planting and roadtripping, oh my!

It took far longer than was ideal, but I suspect the best way to start enjoying my new environment is to connect with it. I’m jumping into learning the history and exploring the available weirdness.  It took 2 hours, but I found my camera. Another hour and I’d dug out the charger, too. It took another week to muster the courage, but I’m going to start being at the keyboard, too. In another month there’ll be dirt to play in.

I’m not sure what the new topics around here or on other sites will be, but I’ll find some and hopefully they’ll be interesting and amusing. Work alone gives me enough silly anecdotes to keep me busy; I’m a storyteller at heart, and that’s as good a place to dip my toe back in the water as any.

Thanks for listening, and watch this space.

Posted by PaigePixel

  1. AWESOME…I am soooo Happy for you! I myself need to FIND ME again…….sigh

    Reply

  2. I am also a writer at heart, a story teller. I began writing my stories down out of frustration from dealing with my parents dementia. Soon that became my only story. It was my life. My parents are both gone now and I am a humor column and a Facebook page, Tickling Your Funny Bone. It has save my sanity, as your excellent writing will save yours. You will touch so many people who are going through the same thing. Try to find a section of life outside dementia that will bring you joy.

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  3. I hope you discover your new self. Life has changed. There is some new that will bloom and grow in your life look for that.

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  4. Loved it! Thanks for sharing! When I got to your husband saying he just wanted you to be happy, I started crying. Glad you found your camera and are on the way to finding yourself! Looking forward to more writings!

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  5. Well done. Hopefully, it is uplifting for others in similar circumstances. Good luck and best wishes to both of you.

    Reply

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