Dancing with Dementia – Episode 161

AcceptanceHow is living with alcoholism like living with dementia? Can I use what I have learned in one, with the other?

The sermon was titled “Dancing with Dementia”. “What perfect timing!” I thought, as I was sitting down. This week I will be visiting my parents, who may or not have diagnosed dementia, but who are definitely becoming less engaged in life, and it hurts.

My brother, my sister, and I have decided to try to have “the talk” with them about aging, about whether they need help in daily living, and about whether they might consider starting to think about moving into an assisted living situation. It won’t be easy.

I also reflected on how my feelings and reactions in this situation parallel my feelings and reactions to active alcoholism, when that was happening in my life. Which brings me to the question, how can I use these tools in this new situation?

The keys seem to be these:

  • Dementia is a disease, just as alcoholism is a disease.
  • I can meet them where they are.
  • I can live in the moment.
  • I can find compassion for my loved ones.
  • I can recognize and feel my grief, and have compassion for myself.

An upcoming topic is the “gift of Al-Anon” that says “Courage and fellowship will replace fear. We will be able to risk failure to develop new hidden talents.” How do you see this coming true in your recovery? Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.

Music from the show

This is the song that he wrote for Barbara Brussell, a friend of one of his daughters. Barbara was a high school dance student who was seriously injured in a car accident involving a drunk driver that killed her teacher and two of her classmates. Her knee was so badly damaged that it was doubtful that she would ever walk again, let alone dance. He visited her in the hospital and bet her that within a year she would come dancing up the road to his home in Big Sur to a song that he would write. The song he wrote within a few days was Let It Be A Dance. A year later, she came dancing, limping, but dancing up the road as he played his guitar and sang, “Let it be a dance we do./ May I have this dance with you?/ Through the good times/ And the bad times, too,/ Let it be a dance.”

 

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