I’m Fading Away

I’m still here.  I’m still the same old me way, way down inside myself.  Don’t forget that I’m still here. My soul is strong and always present.

I get flashes of understanding. I see the concern written all over your face and sometimes it makes sense for a moment before it vanishes.  You try to hide that look from me but you can’t.  It’s imprinted deep within your eyes even when you are smiling.  You are worried for me and you are sad.  You know I’m disappearing slowly in front of you.  You know that it won’t be long before the only thing left of me will be a Cheshire-cat like smile floating thinly in the air above you.

I’m confused. Then, for a moment, everything comes back into focus. It’s as if I’ve been woken with a splash of cold water to my face, and I quickly try to make sense of it all.  You are different now too I notice. You don’t speak to me like you used to.  You don’t ask for my advice anymore or share your secrets.  I begin to wonder what is wrong with you but then I understand.  It hits me like a punch to the gut. It’s me. I’m not myself anymore; I’ve started to fade away.

I’m losing myself within my own mind and there is nothing I can do to stop it. My thoughts jumble together and so many things just don’t line up anymore.   I will start a conversation with someone.  Begin to tell them a story I think they will find interesting and then, half way through the conversation, I realize by the look on their face that they are embarrassed, that what I’ve said hasn’t made sense.  I have to think fast.  I have to pull the conversation back on track.  Let them think that perhaps they just heard me wrong.  I can pull it off sometimes but it’s getting harder and harder now. I’m fading away.

I’ve driven this road thousands and thousands of times.  I drive this road to get groceries, go visit friends, go to the dentist, go for ice cream, go to the building supply, go for coffee…I don’t know where I’m going anymore.  I know I’ve driven this road thousands of times before but how the hell do I get home from here? I can’t let anyone know I’m lost.  Think damn it!

I’m putting my blood pressure pills into the days-of-the-week pill compartments. I see a pile of pills on the table.  I take them all.  That’s what I was supposed to do right? Why is everyone so upset?  I did the right thing didn’t I? My head hurts and I feel a little nauseous.

My life has been full of laughter, some tears, great joy; you name it, the full gamut. I’ve lived a wonderful life and learned so much along the way but now it’s fading away.  I’m fading away.



* NOTE: The above is a fictitious story.  It’s just me imagining what it would be like to be entering the early stages of dementia.  It’s not me…yet. 🙂


  • Jane

    Bonnie, what a good topic and written so very well. It certainly makes one contemplate their future. It is a scary scenario for anyone over sixty. The only things to help is to try keeping ones brain and body active. Hopefully they will find a cure for Dementia and Alzheimer very soon.

  • Tracy Westerholm

    I was very moved by your writing today Bonnie.

    My Nana had Alzheimers. It was so sad at times when I visited her in the home she resided in. She didn’t remember me most of our visit but then out of the blue she would look deep into my eyes and say smiling “Gad how come you haven’t changed since you were 12 years old!” And I would reply “Because when I am with you that is how old I feel” For some reason I always turned into a 12 year old when I was in her presence. Comfort I think.

    Knowing that she faded in for just that moment in time was enough for me to know that this elderly lady sitting beside me was still the Best Nana that any grandchild could ask for! Unconditional love was all she still required!
    One of my Best friends Mother is now going for Alzheimer testing and the results have not been favourable so far. I can see how hard it is for her to go through, her Mom is not that old, but she understands it must be done in order to make her Mom’s life a little easier. Heart wrenching when the soul who is fading away doesn’t understand that their son or daughter is trying to help them. 🙁

    They just need to know they are loved no matter what their minds are telling them.

  • Rick

    Poignant ensemble of thoughts.

    Took me right back to a recent bout of mental illness where I lost ALL sense of self. It was if my life light had been extinguished and I didn’t care to have it reignited.

    Your reflection reminds me that we have come a long way as a society but have a ways to go yet in reaching a place of caring, understanding, empathy and funding for all forms of mental illness.

    And that we owe so much to those who serve the mentally ill daily. The hearts beating in the chests of those care workers are unusually large.

  • jacquie

    I could relate to some of that right now! I often find myself lost in a monologue and in need of finding my way back out. Monkey brain mixed in with …?
    Makes for a lousy argument when even I know I’m not making sense! : )

    I think you captured the feeling of losing one’s grip on reality to a tee. Great read!

  • Keith

    Are you sure that you weren’t writing about you and you have just forgotten that it was you that you were writing about?
    I have noticed that sometimes you think you are younger than me now!!
    LOL…good article….still concerned, but good article!

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