Welcome to the Second Blog in my Alzheimer’s Acceptance series!
This blog is going to talk about the terms accept and acceptance. I am going to talk about what these phrases mean, how they relate to Alzheimer’s and how even though they are both only one word each, how they have hundreds of meanings.
The words Accept and Acceptance are words used almost instinctively in day to day life. Usually, when you use the word you don’t really think about it as a complex word, a word with a deeper meaning in some instances. This can be the case with numerous words. Their original definition may seem easy to comprehend however if you look deeper into the meaning it can lead to questioning the majority of what you already know.
The Oxford Dictionary defines Acceptance as an “agreement with or belief in an idea or explanation”.This definition seems very easy to understand and digest. However, it is not always that simple. When it comes to Alzheimer’s and similar illnesses such as dementia the word Acceptance can have a much more impactful and insightful meaning.
In my experience Accepting Alzheimer’s was an incredibly hard thing to do. I didn’t know what to even try to think of first let alone try to understand certain parts. Do I accept that my grandmother, one of the most influential people in my life, will never be the same? Do I accept that I will slowly have to watch my grandmothers memories fade away? For all of the secrets that I told her to become non-important?
It was these questions that revolved around my head on a daily basis. I found myself asking questions such as Why My Grandmother? What has she done to deserve this? Will she forget me? How will I move on with that? These questions almost seemed impossible to answer in my eyes at the time. I could barely sleep which led to me getting even more frustrated with these questions.
The interesting thing with acceptance, however, is that you can break it down to very small pieces and work your way up from there. You slowly begin to accept that even though the grandmother, friend or relative that you know will never be the same person again, they are still there. There is still a piece of the person there, no matter how small it may seem to be.
You slowly learn your own way of how to accept these small milestones and you work forward from there. In order to maximise the quality of life for the person who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, you need to fully accept the condition, no matter how impossible it may seem.
The way that I learnt to accept the fact that my grandmother had Alzheimer’s was by putting my mind purely on creating my Alzheimer’s Awareness website Don’t Forget Me: http://www.dontforgetme.org.uk. I needed a way to channel my emotions into something with a meaning. A resource I could use to help others who were going through similar experiences, a way to create a community around this horrible illness.
The motto/slogan for Don’t Forget Me came from here: For every memory lost, another is formed. This was the slogan that I used to fully complete and comprehend my grandmother’s condition. I understood and accepted the fact that even though the grandmother I knew all of my life was going to slowly disappear in front of my eyes. I learnt to try and make newer better memories to try and replace the memories that have been lost or forgotten.
Thank you so much for reading this week’s blog for Alzheimer’s Acceptance. This blog was an interesting one to write as it allowed me to link in my own personal experience alongside a method of how I coped. As with every blog I post all feedback is greatly appreciated, please message me what you think. If you have any queries or questions please get in touch.
I understand this is a longer blog than usual so I want to say a big thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the next blog!
Acceptance isn't always paper-thin, sometimes it's like climbing a neverending staircase - James Sweeney