Have you ever been deep in thought and suddenly wondered how you arrived at this topic? In your mind, you backtrack through your train of thought, until you reach the originating notion. This is also how you find your way to the offending thought, whenever you find yourself in a depression sequence.
In recent days, I’ve been thinking about dementia, aging, even dying. What brought this on – why would I ruminate over something so sad and unavoidable? (The aging part, at least, is unavoidable. Oh, and the dying.) I’ve realized that I have a tendency towards displacement or is it internalizing? For example, I visit my mother and I see how much she is declining and I begin to think that I am declining as well. I notice that I am having more and more difficulty expressing myself, finding the phrase or word that I want to say. Inside my head, I begin to panic. I see my mother’s face and hear her voice from two or three years ago and think, “Oh no! It’s happening to me too!”
When I find a clear and quiet place, I can sort through the reality. I am not my mother and my trajectory of decline is not in her jet stream. I don’t have dementia – I have normal memory function for someone my age. I don’t have to like it but there it is (and that scenario is much better than the alternative!)
I’ve also realized that part of the reason that I have difficulty talking is that I don’t talk very much. I am alone a lot and most of my communication is in my own head. When I am with friends or family, I realize that I don’t have much to talk about – since I retired, I don’t have the usual “things at work” to discuss. I tend to listen more, I always have. Best way to combat that is to read, write and talk more. Try to learn something new. Expand the thinking process and expound on it. More importantly, stop ruminating about the bleak possibilities.
We do not fear the unknown. We fear what we think we know about the unknown. Teal Swan