Whew! We made it. As usual, I have the Holiday Let Down Blues. I don’t like them. I fight them. But I get them every single time on the day after. I wonder if I am the only one?
It seems that I spend so much time and energy preparing for big days, and the day after I am not sure what to do with myself. I fight buyer’s remorse. I try to refocus on the house responsibilities, school, doctors visits, and what is next. I sit in my PJ’s a little longer, take my shower a little later, listen to music on the radio, and reflect. I hope that my family enjoyed their day, that the gifts that we carefully selected were just right, and I overthink their reactions of the day before. I know I need to cut it out, but I can’t.
I wonder what next year is going to look like. I try not to think about it, and deny it to anyone who asks, but I can’t help it. I think about how this year was a little more difficult and I wonder how long he will make it amidst the Christmas chaos next year.
Writing about it helps.
We just had to find a new home for the dog: his Service Dog. He has become aggressive toward her and goes from 0-100 so fast. He yells at her, has to be stopped from throwing things at her, and wants to “smash her head,” when she barks or gets into the trash. He chases dander all day long, minds her smell, and rarely gives her attention. This breaks my heart. This dog, the one he begged to get last April, was supposed to keep him calm and provide him company. She is a good dog, easy to train, and will do anything for a “good girl”. Is that part of my funk? I think so. The dog I fought about getting, got ahold of my heartstrings and I miss her.
We wrote a book together and gave away 25 copies for Christmas. I have been a bit surprised by the response. When I shared at school, I received very little feedback, but I got a few nice “Ata Girls”. When we shared the book on our support site, the Administrators took it down, saying that we couldn’t “solicit our book”. We don’t get any royalties and we sited the support site in our Acknowledgements. I thought they’d appreciate that. We signed copies for our family who showed little expression. Maybe they just don’t know what to say. It was just weird. I just mailed some to my closest friends. I wonder what kind of a response I will get from them? I had thought I might do another book at some point, but from the response, I am thinking that I won’t. As far as we know, only 2 people have read it from cover to cover. One, we have never met, the other, the cousin that took the dog. Both had kind things to say, but what about the others? Part of my funk?
He gets frustrated with holidays, because he wants to do things for me and he can’t. He relies on others to drive him. He doesn’t have access to money. He wants to spoil me but can’t. This year I took him to two places with store credit cards. He picked out a couple things for my birthday. It is a significant one this year and he wants it to be special. So he picked out a very expensive gift that we will be paying on for a long time. With tears in his eyes, he said, “It isn’t every day that you turn 50.”
Well, the dog didn’t work out. She couldn’t get along with the other dog. She is an Alpha and bossy. Shocking. So are the rest of the women in the family! It took less than an hour to put the run back up and put all her things back in the house. He seems disappointed. I think he had resigned to the fact that she was gone and now that she is back, he doesn’t know what to think. I think he is caught up with the fact that he let her down. I, on the other hand, am glad she is home after three LONG days away. I missed her so much.
I wonder if part of my mood stems from the fact that he is absolutely pooped. The stimulation from the past couple days has left him exhausted. He fell asleep on the way into town for dog food and rarely spoke when we got home. The new normal in my life means that I have to watch him carefully, and monitor his behavior to find when I need to remove him from noise and high activity. The highest priority is to make sure that he gets his medication and that he is safe. The problem is that Dementia is not linear. Just because he can’t do it today, doesn’t mean that he can’t do it tomorrow. And, just because he can’t remember it at this moment, doesn’t mean that he won’t remember it later. The only thing that he consistently cannot do is tie his shoes. It seems that he has lost that for good.
I can’t help but wonder about next year, even though I tell myself and others not to think that far ahead. I wonder how fast this thing is going to progress, even though a big part of me doesn’t want to know. I am sad, but not all the time. I live for the day most of the time, and I don’t really plan, because I can’t. Then I get mad, because this should not be happening at 50 years old. We are way too young for this mess. I am angry that the kids are getting the short end, and so am I. I really want to lay down and throw a great big fit. Then I think that I am being ridiculous and I need to knock it off. And I do.
And then look what I found…