I have sat and looked out of this window at the rain for a long time. In that time, the subject of my own mental well being has come into question many times. On a few occasions I have related mental well being through the family and speculated in what I might be in for in future years. Alzheimer’s has reared it’s head in my family through the years. Most noticeably with my mums mum and my dad’s dad.
Over time I though about my gran(mums mum) and how she was with me and my sister when we were young. She was every funny, witty, unbelievably intelligent yet in public she as a doting wife who did not say anything out of turn. Suppressing herself to suit polite society and it’s strange parameters. I often wondered why the change of face, as to a child it was a strange metamorphosis to behold.
My Grandad was a kind man from what I remember, I really do t remember to much else. However, where he lived didn’t denote the living space of an adventurer or explorer. He was happy with his lot and his wife and he never rocked the boat or liked the boat being rocked.
As u got older and learned that it was t just my gran who morphed in public from the private self. And that there were thousands who sat in retirement just withering away with a spouse who’s boats never left the harbour in their latter years, let alone rocked it.
I found myself with my gran one day at a home for the elderly, after the passing of her husband and my grandpa, chatting a bit about the weather, doing jigsaw and occasionally making light hearted remarks about the nurses. It occurred to me that with her, I had never had a conversation more meaningful than the best way to spread seaweed on the compost heap! Not that she wasn’t capable, she was a graduate from Ridgelands bible college, whilst my grandpa graduated from both Oxford and Cambridge, in a time when a degree was not to sniffed at. However, I always felt that she was holding something back and the same is true of my mum. There was the innate fear of rocking the boat. Suppression in its most terrible form, suppression of the true self.
Many years later mum said that gran had recessed to a time when she was 16 or 17 and every now and the. Would mention an old flame or her father and the horses. Forgetting who mum was, was one of the hardest things she had to face from gran. It was a person she knew but the brain wasn’t.
Over 60 years my gran had suppressed her true self to meet the needs of everyone else and as a result, as she got older and weaker of mind, she could no longer continue the Facade and her mind just Popped! Back to a time when she was most at one with herself.
This is in a nutshell, my theory on Alzheimer’s.
It’s is a state of mind caused by prolonged suppression of the true self. This In turn causes a mind-melt in later life.
In the same way a river cuts through soft land to find it’s natural path. If it is damned consigning it to unnatural constraints, then the pressure behind the dam increases and needs to be let out once in a while, if not, that damn breaches and causes massive amounts of damage to the surrounding area. In the case of the mind, this would be the family and friends.
This is so easily avoided and incredibly important to teach kids that, from an early age, to be themselves, be confident in there choices, abilities and to trust their intuition, is the only way to live a truly enjoyable life.