Like all couples, we had our ups and downs, but Dan was there - for over 60 years. The dementia caused him to be someone I didn’t know, but he was there. Somehow, his presence gave me the confidence and the courage to accomplish things I couldn’t - or didn’t think I could.
I have a purpose and many things to be grateful for today. I have enjoyable moments, and at the same time, my sense of security - my feeling of being safe and protected is missing.
The psychologist Abraham Maslow described the issue in his Hierarchy of Needs. I was at the Level of Self-Esteem when Dan was alive. I had confidence, a challenging job, and was achieving things.
After his death, I cared for my physiological needs but wasn’t providing for my safety and security needs.
I haven’t - yet - figured out how to give myself that sense of security. For various reasons, I’m not as confident in my capabilities as I was when I was younger, and there were two of us - we figured things out together, and Dan had my back. I could count on it.
But, I’m learning ways to rely on myself - which includes making mistakes and being wrong, and, at the same time, being kind to myself as I find better ways of doing. It’s all new territory.
The article 5 Tips to Feel More Secure says
Security can be found in a positive mindset, looking confident, reaching out, and spending time on things you love. While not always easy, these are all worth a try.
Based on the ideas in the article, I’m identifying ways to rebuild my sense of security. It’s a process and doesn’t happen overnight - but I’m taking steps in the right direction.
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