I hear voices…

“I’m not good enough, young enough, enough enough”, that’s what the voices say.  There’s a large, dysfunctional family of voices in my head: the shame voice, the fearful voice, I’m too old voice, and this is a stupid blog topic voice! Every day, all day, these voices are the narrators and directors of my life, and sometimes I am not even aware of them.   I am feeling content one moment, and the next moment I am restless and irritable.  If I pause, I can usually identify the voice that flipped the switch from positive to negative for me.  Quite often there is a “SHOULD” involved.  I think the voices have hired “SHOULD” as their enforcer.  Whatever I am doing , I should be doing something else: I should visit my Mother, I should act my age, and on and on the shoulds come.  The dictionary says that should is a “verbal auxiliary”, and that sounds sinister to me.

The other day, my sister, Aileen, and I were talking about how amazing it would be if the voices in our heads were positive and supportive.  What if the negative voices packed their bags, took their verbal auxiliary and moved on, and the kind and loving voices moved in?.  When a friend tells me “no”  she doesn’t want to have dinner with me, instead of “Nobody likes me” or “I am boring”, I would hear “It’s o.k., I have loving friends and sometimes they say no”.  Unfortunately, the negative voices are happy with their home, and have no thoughts of relocating. Meanwhile, they make it very difficult for me to hear any positive or compassionate voices, because they make so much noise. Blah,blah ,blah.

For many years, the board of directors in my head have voted to stay with the devil I know, negative and critical self-talk, rather than risk change.  Recently, there has been some turnover on the board, and some new voices that challenge the voice that tells me I am too old to change.The teeter-totter ( not a computer game) has lots more weight on the years lived end, than on the years left to live end.  I am questioning my own mind.  I hear whispers that tell me I can try new things, do poorly at them, and still have fun.  I meditate and hear the negative voices, but I can let those voices just go thru and out.  I’ve learned that voices that use “always” or “never” are not true, and I don’t listen to  them.  I have learned and lived long enough to always question authority, especially if the authority is my own mind.

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I Don’t Recommend This Book.

I have had swirl brain and have not been able to settle on one topic to write about. It has been like a novel that jumps back and forth between character voices, and back and forth in time, and is just too hard to follow.  All the characters are voices within me.  My memories are taking me back in time, and my worries are focused on the future. I am juggling many story lines and I want to be the hero in all of them.

There’s the “How did I get to be so old?” story.  I am bewildered by the face in the mirror and by the jumble of feelings I have about turning 63 next month.   I know that age is so much more than a tally of years.  Chronological order is a way to tell a story and to record events, but the stories I carry are more like 2 steps forward, 1 step backward. My memory can distort the truth so that even I can’t follow the story line. Madlibs fill in the blank stories make more sense!

History, her story, my story and the “Why am I here story?”.  I want to be a hero, but I know I am a very small speck of humanity.  Lately I have been thinking that the better question might be “How am I here?”. If I am loving, kind and brave, then the why question gets answered by default. So what’s the storyline?  My life is a process and the jury is waiting for the conclusion to make a determination.

In the “Roger and Me Story” the villain is Lewy Body Dementia(LBD). Roger is declining and LBD is relentless. I am not a hero in this story either. I am scared, tired, and defeated.  Grief is the story line that I follow with my tears, and I know how this story ends. Sometimes the dialogue is so painful and beautiful that every cell in my body reacts.  Roger no longer understands death and he does not understand that he is dying.  Dementia has given him this one gift.  We talk about heaven as a place where he will go and he will be able to bike and hike again.  I tell him that he will get to order all his favorite foods, and watch all his favorite movies with lots of popcorn. Yesterday I asked him if he was ready to go to heaven soon and he shook his head no. I asked him why and he said “Because I know people here.”.

Is there ever really a “lived happily ever after”?