I have become quite a recluse – for me, anyway.  I feel as if I’m home all the time – whenever I’m not at work or family events or spending time with Dad, anyway. I just feel as if I don’t have any energy left after my obligations are through. 

Typically, when I walk in the door, I have a long list of things I should/could do, and then my butt hits the couch and all bets are off.  Once I’m shut in that house, I’m not going out again until I absolutely have to.  I busy myself at home a lot, watch a lot of TV, read books, avoid almost all phone calls and hide out.  It’s been nearly two months since I filed for divorce and I’m not feeling the desire to do much.  I think A LOT, read a lot, mull over my situation a lot, wonder where I want my life to go, reflect on how I got here, catalogue the mistakes I’ve made, note personality traits I might need to change… then I think about my dad, how precious and fleeting life is, how painful this all is… then I feel so all alone.  And then the phone rings, and I choose not to pick it up.  There are so many people reaching out to me.  I know I should pick it up and reach back.  But I just feel like I want to be alone for a while, like I have a lot of internal work to do.

I’m exhausted and lost and I’m taking full advantage of my new cozy, warm home. 

I have recently picked up Dr. Richard Taylor’s book again, Alzheimer’s: From the Inside Out.  I find it fascinating to be able to get a glimpse of Alzheimer’s from a patient’s point of view.  It’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to seeing my dad’s point of view.  And if I can just understand it and where they’re coming from better, maybe I’ll be able to relate better to my dad along the way.  And so I force myself to read it, even sometimes on days when I don’t want to because I know it’ll depress me.  But I can never read many chapters in one sitting – it’s too emotional.  I find that I put it down for days or weeks at a time.  Then, when I feel stronger, I force myself to pick it back up again.  The other book my mother gave me, The 36 Hour Day, is just WAY TOO HEAVY for me right now. 

I’m still trying so hard to get back on my own two feet, live independently and await my divorce.  I can’t take on the whole world all at once.  I have to limit my intake for my own good.

Today was the Alzheimer’s Association Greater-Michigan Chapter annual fundraising event, The Chocolate Jubilee.  Apparently, this event is in its 23rd year.  I’ve never heard of it but, then again, I barely knew what “Alzheimer’s” was until 6 months ago.

Mom and Dad learned about The Chocolate Jubilee during the 7-week couples’ support group they attended this fall via the Alzheimer’s Association.  We went as a family to the luncheon, including my Mom’s sister (Aunt Kathy) and her daughters who are my close cousins (Katie and Karrie).  I’m not sure what we all expected from the event, except that we were very interested in hearing from the Keynote Speaker, Dr. Richard Taylor, a retired organizational psychologist whom has been living with an early-onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis for six years now.

Dr. Taylor was remarkable.  He started off saying he got nervous when he couldn’t find his speech notes a little while ago.  🙂  He flew to the event with the help of his wife, his permanent traveling companion now; apparently, he can’t travel alone anymore because he can’t keep track of his itinerary or maneuver confusing airports, etc.  Something we have to look forward to with Dad, I’m sure.

He read some excerpts from his book, Alzheimer’s from the Inside Out.  It’s a collection of diary entries/articles he wrote privately for his own peace of mind, but discovered upon sharing them once that they had value beyond his own two eyes.  I am very anxious and excited to read the book!  This is one piece of research information I haven’t come across yet which I think will be invaluable!  To get inside the mind of someone living with Alzheimer’s, to get a glimpse of what they see, feel how they feel…  I want desperately to understand my dad’s (ever-shifting?) point of view as much as humanly possible so that I connect with him stronger and communicate with him better – on his level.  I AM SO EXCITED THIS BOOK EXISTS!!!  🙂