I recognise the terror.....That long term stress leaves scars. I don’t know of any support for carers that recognises this.Thank you so much for your kind words, Alice. You have said the key to it: a role and a meaning. I did not imagine I would move on to being a volunteer in a nursing home, and now they have asked me to think about a campaign to recruit other volunteers which is lovely. A role and a meaning. Caring for someone at home 24/7 is an honourable occupation but the price is too high. Moving on in life. I don't know. I write the wildlife notes for the local church magazine and that helps with meaning, I now run the little church group that once saved my life by reaching out to me when life with Keith was terribly dark. These are small things but they are a life. I am by no means recovered from my ordeal. I feel fear easily, find it hard to cope with the bureacratic incompetencies of life and am often in state of terror first thing in the morning, as I was when caring for Keith at home. I tell myself all this is normal bearing in mind what I went through.
I would say the practicalities of moving on are choose a small activity, any one, go to the library if you have one once or twice a week, make it a habit. Habits become imperatives and this can give us a way to move on, little by little. I guess moving on means put your mind elsewhere.
I would say, as mental health professional that there is something about the nature of dementia that is compelling and consuming to the normal mind and it is very very hard to get the mind off it.
with love and best, Geraldinexxx