During my mom’s 10-year battle with Alzheimer’s, I felt like I was on a roller coaster that I didn’t agree to get on.
I don’t even like roller coasters in the first place.
They make me dizzy and nauseous and they’re not even that much fun.
And the roller coaster of my mom’s Alzheimer’s was honestly not much different.
I often felt dizzy with stress and nauseous with dread and it certainly was nothing even resembling the word fun.
I remember feeling like we were managing it all so well at times.
Like, “Ok, we’ve got this. Things are under control.”
We were in a rhythm. We had figured things out. We were coasting along.
And then all of the sudden—seemingly out of nowhere—the bottom would fall out.
Suddenly, we were free-falling into the abyss. We were on one of those really big drops roller coasters are known for.
Shit had hit the fan.
We would scramble to get things under control again.
Is this a new stage or a symptom of something else?
Is this change temporary or is this the new normal?
What does my mom need for her care?
Before I knew it, we were in a rhythm again. We had figured things out. We were coasting along.
Until we weren’t.
And that cycle basically repeated itself over and over again for ten freaking years.
One would think that the drops and free falls were the hardest part of the ride, and they were in the way of coming up with a plan and figuring out the logistics. That was often the most stressful part.
But honestly, some of the hardest times were when we were coasting.
Because that’s when I actually had the time and space and silence to process what was happening to my mom.
That’s when I felt the saddest.
That’s when I grieved her the most.
That’s when all of the loss really hit me.
Sometimes coasting was the hardest thing to do because there wasn’t much to do at all.
Except to feel.
Friend to friend, it’s all a necessary part of this journey. It’s all a part of this ride.
And when the ride is over, you almost wish you could get back on because you somehow forget how hard it all was.
No matter where you are on this journey, remember to be kind to yourself.
Feel your feelings.
Process your loss.
Grieve your grief.
The only way off the ride is through.
No wonder I don’t like roller coasters.
*If this post resonated with you, you should consider joining the Alzheimer’s Daughters Club!
**If you liked this post, you would love my book “When Only Love Remains: Surviving My Mom’s Battle with Early Onset Alzheimer’s.” It’s available on all Amazon marketplaces.