When I first began reading this book, I thought it would be a story I couldn’t handle, due to my ability to get so upset over others’ adversities. However, I read on, and am so glad I did, as I was soon hooked on Doreen’s easy reading style and thoughtful manner of writing.
Having seen my friend’s Grandma go through Alzheimers, and my lovely neighbour too, I have always seen both Alzheimers and Dementia as two of the worst problems a person could experience. The person loses their personality and memories and those left to care for them have a hard time, emotionally and physically. I have fond memories of my neighbour, who was always in the front garden, with his wife, beavering away. “Hello dear” he’d say jovially as I stopped for a quick chat as a child and young girl. So when he went spiralling down at the command of his disease, I not only didn’t see him again, I didn’t see his wife wither, for she was indoors in the end, caring for him and too scared to go out and leave him on his own. She aged quickly and found it hard to accept help. Her dedication was commendable, but we saw her deteriorate as time went on.
But this gave me an extra push to read this book, as I wanted to know what it was like to be a sufferer and also a carer, not just from my thoughts and knowledge, but from a person who had really been through it. And Doreen’s book is the perfect story to read to gain full insight. This story is full of love, hope, compassion, strength, information, laughs and sadness and I recommend this book to everyone!
Being an advocate for mental illness, due to personal experiences, plus my mum’s, I really feel that Doreen has given to society, through her own bravery in writing her book, a real understanding of this truly heartbreaking disease and all that comes with it, as well as showing exactly what it is (mentally, physically and practically) to be a carer for a beloved mother who loses her personality day by day, as well as suffering various physical ailments. Doreen had to scan every part of her own mind as well as her mothers, to fight unwanted emotions and find more positive emotions right for the job, whilst accepting all the emotions grief put her through. She has a great touch in telling us about her self analysis in words.
Doreen’s mother was so brave and gracious it was totally heart warming to read about such a close family.
I began reading this before Christmas and hadn’t been in a great spirit, but it gave me such a sense of comfort even through it’s sad times and the harsh truths which Doreen wrote with total honesty; not holding back at all.
Halfway through, I realised that, no matter how hard things can be with my own mentally ill mum, my experiences have not, to date, been as testing as the authors, and I began to appreciate my mum’s spirit, fun, abilities and mentality which is still her personality, even more. Her memory and concentration are beginning to fail, and even as I took her out Christmas shopping, I had more patience than ever and even told her I loved her for the first time. All due to reading the well thought out and documented twists and turns of Doreen’s mind, whilst caring for her loving mother. I am so glad I read this wonderful story!
Doreen looks into her soul and goes through every emotion trying to tame the tears and anger and sadness that hit her every day. She details every event and nuance that we need to know to let us in on the journey that is being a carer for a loved one with dementia.
I particularly commend how she shows what ‘validation’ is and how she was given it by her family – validation is key in relationships, particularly when the other person is going through an emotional time!
Buy at Amazon – CLICK HERE TO OPEN LINK IN A NEW WINDOW (paperback and kindle both available)
Buy at Amazon UK – CLICK HERE TO OPEN LINK IN A NEW WINDOW (paperback and kindle both available)