Registered User
Mar 27, 2004
I think I have finally identified the feeling that has been getting me down lately.

It is a feeling of failure.

In the past I have always been good at whatever I undertook, not world beating or earth shattering but competent, and here is something I can do nothing about.

My head of course tells me that to feel like that is nonsensical, but when the person concerned is Margaret who I have loved and been married to for 53years, my heart is shouting failure.

I know that I am doing all that I can, (and more than a lot do), in a physical sense, but this feeling of inadequacy persists in spite of logical thinking.

I hope that now I have discovered what it is, I will be better able to deal with it.

Has anyone else had similar feelings and how did you cope?

Cheers barraf


Registered User
Aug 10, 2004
hi barraf,If you are anything like me it is not failure you are feeling but the lack of control over ad .We cannot do anything to stop a person getting ad and we cannot stop it progressing,hence the lack of control.Sadness fear anger yes i feel all of these but not failure.Ilove and care for my mum through the good and the bad times and while i can continue to do that i have not failed.On a really bad day icould scream and think i should be able to cope better than this but i take comfort from the fact that as far as i know mum is quite happy and feels safe in her little world of alzimers,and then i just plod on and hope tomorrow will be a better day, and it sometimes is.Take heart i am sure you are doing a great job and know one who loves and cares is a failure.chin up storm.


Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
West Sussex
Hi Barraf and Storm, I can identify with that feeling too. I put it down to the hopelessness of the situation, the way whatever you did, things were still sliding down that slippery slope and nothing could stop it. You do your very best but you can never win. I decided that if I couldn't win, at least I could make sure my mum had absolutely everything I could get to make her happy, loved and free of pain. This I did, so I won that bit! The battle with AD, sadly I lost that on the 9th July when my lovely mum passed away, but she died at home surrounded by love and with no pain. AD can never take that away from me or you. Love She. XX


Registered User
Sep 9, 2004
Hi, I completely identify about the sense of failure, and the inability to control things. The only thing i have ever been really handy at is fixing stuff, and finding a way to make even the most broken things work. except now. i cant fix my dad, yet i am responsible for him - thats a tough deal. i'm not very good at taking it day by day, i want to have some kind of plan, but so far that just hasnt been possible. i wonder if it ever changes?
I know that this experience (only since feb this year) has completely changed my life, my priorities, my tolerance of "unimportant" issues. It consumes every moment. Perhaps that changes with time, I dont know.
I remember in January this year, before it all started for me, watching a bird out of my window. It settled on a branch full of berries, ate a couple and flew off. I thought how trusting that bird was, leaving all that food behind, believing it would find more the next day when it was hungry again (so unlike a man, who would grab them all!). Now I know more what its like to have to live with uncertainty each day - yet i'm still here so far, there is always just enough to keep me going.


Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
Birmingham Hades
Hi Barraf
I can identify with you we have been married a long time, a little longer than you,most of the time I still love her dearly, except for the odd times when I hate her.
Then I come to my senses and remind myself it is the AD and not my wife that I hate.
I too have been fairly succesful in life,in fact I thought at one time I had got it all,but now I feel frustrated and angry like you,for this is the time in our lives when we should be contented and enjoying every dayTOGETHER.I would give up any of my achievments to have my wife back again,as she was.
We can only take the good with the bad and console ourselves with the happy times, and memories that have gone before
Day to Day


Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Frazer,

I know these feelings of failure about AD, pretty well and they are a real pain in the butt. For me, it's a sense of utter frustration about being unable to prevent the unpreventable and the helpness associated with watching loved ones succumb to AD - and knowing that you cannot do anything about it in the long term....

I've now got a mental programme which I call 'Fail my Way to Success'. Sounds corny, but it helps immensely on a day to day basis. Every unsupervised walk that my parents manage, every meal that they eat with relish, every laugh that we enjoy, every hug and kiss 'goodnight' - it all goes into the 'succes file'. Some days of course are much more succesful than others - and some are downright dismal.

The oldies are both 86. I'm aiming for maximum 'success days'. If I feel that I've made them happy each day and that they feel relaxed and loved, then that's all that I CAN do. It's not exactly world shattering success, but it does make a big difference to how I feel about things.

Best wishes,