For some time now, perhaps a couple of years, I’ve been feeling “heavy,” weighed down with a lack of motivation and difficulty writing. Just below the surface of my consciousness, I’ve wondered why I’ve been this way. Why is it so difficult to write? Why do I take so long to do even straightforward things? Why am I getting so obsessive about things? Why is it so difficult to discipline myself to do things? Why am I so groggy in the morning, no matter how much sleep I’ve been getting?
Until now, I’ve blamed age or my tendency to judge myself harshly. It seems more likely, though, to be the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s. In some ways that would be a relief: at least there’s an explanation and I don’t have to castigate myself for a character defect. I don’t need to struggle as much against myself, blaming myself for just “giving up” on some things. On the other hand, I don’t want to just blame everything on the Alzheimer’s and give up unnecessarily.
On the positive side of things I’ve noticed that relationships with other people are somewhat easier for me than they were before my diagnosis. Is that a result of the Alzheimer’s or of my maturing? The ability and desire, for instance, to mentor the younger people is fairly new. Perhaps that’s just the natural arc of my life. But perhaps it is that I don’t need to do so much in relationships. Alzheimer’s giveth and Alzheimer’s taketh away. More taketh than giveth, I think, but still it’s not all bad.