I find these days that my mind is racing far ahead of my body. Objectively my condition has declined but not dramatically. I can still walk, unassisted in the house and with a cane for short walks out. I still drive. Although not speaking Iuse pen, paper and technology to communicate. I can still feed and care for my bodily needs, although require more assistance. I can still read and write. Friends tell me I look good.
But this “reality” does not correspond with my mental state these days. As I think about my future I am more and more focused on all the negatives – things I can no longer do and an even longer list of capabilities falling away. I know my future is increasing isolation in my decaying body, less mobility, more discomfort, breathing difficulties and pain.
And I also can sense the pain my decline is bringing to the people closest to me, and want to spare them as much as I am able.
I feel so conflicted. There is still life and value in living. There are still many things I can do, people to hug, books to read, movies to watch and music to enjoy. But the prospect of my accelerating decline make me want to take the “easy way out” much of the time.
Being a good decision analyst I understand the error of making a choice that forecloses options prematurely. I awoke this morning determined to speed my process by not eating. I have no explanation for why that idea dominated today. Stewed in those thoughts most of the morning, started writing thispiece and googling starvation. Started making a spreadsheet in my head.
I cannot explain the thought process that has led me to decide finally to have my breakfast at 11AM this morning. Neither the spreadsheet nor the google were especially helpful. Somehow it just came to me that this decision was, indeed, premature. But my family has pointed out that this is not my favorite time of year, and I should postpone major decisions until the New Year. So I have retrieved my “Bah Humbug” hat from the closet shelf and will wear it for the next few weeks as a reminder to live my life one day at a time.