Move Along

I am a real-life person. I live in Cedar Falls, Iowa. I have a husband, three cats, and two dogs. One of my dogs just started wearing a belly band…he’s 17. I teach about four classes a week at an indoor cycling studio. If you come to my class, you’ll realize quickly that I’m not known for giving adequate recovery between intervals. I am a college professor and run our Dementia Simulation House. I teach Family Relationships, Psych of Aging, and Families, Alzheimer’s, and Related Dementias. I oversee interns who continually impress me as they transition to the professional world. I currently have a broke humerus (insert joke here) after crashing my bike this summer, and I had three back surgeries in 2021. I am obsessed with our Roomba. (Actually we have three Roombas.) I watch the Bachelorette every week with my husband and friends, and I love the musical Hairspray. It’s in town this week. I am seeing it Tuesday and Wednesday night. My nickname (thanks to my friend Drew) is “Full Throttle.” I will let you guess why.

But enough about me.

Why am I talking about me anyway?

Because I am reminding you that I am real person who sits down at her laptop every Sunday–sometimes Saturday if she’s ambitious–and write a blog that’s related to dementia.

I need to tell you something. I’ve stopped reading your comments.

I had to do that for my mental health.

I used to post something and sit anxiously at the computer, waiting for the reactions of my followers.

I would guess the feedback I get is 98% positive. Please don’t think I am having a pity party here. I have about 27,000 blog subscribers. Someone is going to hate something I write each week. I didn’t have this problem when my mom, my husband, one of my grade school teachers, and 6 friends read my blog.

But when someone makes a negative comment, it is often pretty negative.

I am. Mean. Ignorant. Uncaring. Too positive. Too negative. Uneducated. A bitch. An asshole. A liar. I am sure I am missing something here…

I shouldn’t care. I told myself for a few years that I just needed to develop a thicker skin. That I was being a baby by getting upset. That I should have more self-confidence.

But I’d get a mean comment (and I am not referring to something constructive) and ruminate on it all day.

Some guy from a small town in Oklahoma once made a comment that I should consider taking a college class on dementia so I could be more accurate in what I wrote. I carried that one around for a few days. I didn’t lose a whole night’s sleep, but maybe a few hours. Now I think it’s funny. (I should have responded that I wanted to take a college course on dementia but couldn’t find one in my area that I didn’t teach.)

So I stopped.

I just stopped reading the comments.

But I am just confused. I read stuff online all the time that isn’t a fit. It’s not helpful to me. It’s not what I’m looking for. It doesn’t resonate with me. Or I’m just not impressed.

You know what I do?

I move along.

I don’t spend my time trying to convince the author that they are a bad person.

I just move along.

And I encourage you to do that if my blog isn’t helpful for you. People are in difference spaces and have different needs. Maybe I don’t fit where you are at. Maybe my style doesn’t work for you. It’s fine. Move along.

This is the advice I give individuals and families living with dementia.

If it’s not helpful, move along. People will give you lots of advice about dementia. Much of it unsolicited.

By the way, essential oils don’t cure dementia. Not do any supplements you can buy at CVS, Walmart, or Walgreens.

People may judge how you approach caregiving. That’s not helpful. Move along.

You may follow people on social media who make negative comments about those living with dementia. Move along.

You may have friends who fail to be supportive, or — even worse –are critical or dismissive of you. Move along.

Someone I know recently moved along from her church. She loved her church, but it wasn’t dementia friendly and going to services was stressful for her. She moved along….to a different church with services streamed online.

In my life, I feel like I haven’t moved along as quickly as I might have in certain situations. I didn’t want to hurt a relationship. I didn’t want to be assertive. I had already put too much time into something. But I’m not sure I’ve ever regretted moving along.

When something doesn’t work, it’s okay to let it go. If my blog doesn’t work for you, don’t spend your time telling me I’m horrible. Spend your time finding something else to read that works for you.

It’s okay.

No hard feelings.

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