Finding Out Who You Are

Depending on your personal experience of whether you lived independently before the relationship with your loved one, you may have to figure out who you are now. I had never lived on my own before marriage. I went from attending college to marriage, and had no experience in living all by myself. You must figure out what you want out of life as an independent person, and possibly how to go about whatever that is. I am still figuring that out. I used to think while I was caregiving, that when it was all over I would want to be with another person to spend the rest of my life. Now that six years have gone by, I’m not so sure I do. It would take a very special person to urge me to marry again. On the one hand, I just don’t want to go through being a caregiver again! After 19 years, I want some “me” time.

I was very lucky being married to Jim. In many ways he prepared me for living by myself by fostering my independence while being married. He always made me make my own car appointments, call about some of our repairs on the house, and I did all the finances so I wasn’t left not knowing where I stood financially when my dementia journey was over. Because he always had summers off, we “switched roles” in the summer as he played “mister mom” and I was the breadwinner.

When you are going through this growth process, it is of utmost importance that eventually you decide positively to be happy! If you look at the woman in the picture above, she looks happy. She is contented. My husband, as a school psychologist and family therapist, said to me often, if you act happy, you will become happy and that is true. Your emotions will follow your actions! So decide that you will be happy. No one wants to be unhappy for the rest of their life. Act the part and you will become the part! Being contented with the situation comes with time. Time to process where you are, and be able to give thanks for what life has brought you.

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