If I ever get dementia, shoot me like a race horse.

Dear Dementia,

Few people know this but you are not a disease. You are a collective of symptoms which describe the diseases which cause you. The term dementia is attributed as a summary of the effects. Unfortunately, you are an inevitable part of life on a global scale. And while everyone’s experience of you is different, you often change personalities. Causing an inability to communicate, create delusions and hallucinations, and give problems when judging distance and speed.

In 2011, Dementia you changed my life. You infected the one person I could always talk to. The one person who I have always admired. You changed her so much that now she does not know who I am. I have gone from the person who would sit for hours listening contently to her stories to simply a woman. I no longer share an attachment to her like I used to.


Everyday I visit her is a never ending cycle of small talk and silence. It is ground hog day. We have the same conversation over and over, repeating the same emotions like a wind up doll.

The life she had once lived is now forgotten.

Her sons have not been born. Her daughter is now her aunt. She was never married. She hates her closest friends. She takes care of children and animals who keep her up at night and create an abundance of mess in her house. She picks thorns from her arms and swats the swarm of flies that bite her.

And through all this I can only stand by and watch her deteriorate.

You make me so angry.


When she does remember who I am she talks openly about how she’s feeling crazy and confused. We explain to her where she is and what is happening. She states how her brain has deceived her. How naughty it is and how it is not doing as she tells it. And sometimes a little glimmer of her retreats from your dark depths.

There is nothing about you I am grateful for. Many people try to take lessons from you. They tell themselves that you taught them how to be grateful of people and life. But all you’ve taught me is how destructive you are. Not just to your host but to everyone who plays a part in your chess game. It is a game of moves and counter-moves but you always triumph.


So if you do come for me, I hope they shoot me like they do race horses who can run no longer. I don’t want to be a shell where I resort back to the dependent baby I was once. To know no one and be able to do nothing is not an existence. While many can live a full life with dementia I’d rather not put my family through the turmoil. My mind is the only part of me I want to hold on to until the end.

I hope to never experience you again..
Forever faithfully,
Anna.

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15 thoughts on “If I ever get dementia, shoot me like a race horse.

    1. Thank-you very much. There has been a lot lately about dementia awareness so I thought it was a good time to share. I hope that it resonates with those either going through dementia or those who have yet to experience it understand it better. It is a truly horrible disease.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have a neuropsychology background so am familiar, though not at a personal level. I think sharing stories is so powerful and it takes a lot of strength to do so

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I personally suffer from Schizophrenia and Major Depressive Disorder so I know a thing or two about your own brain deceiving you. My grandmother suffered from dementia and looking at her i felt a deep sadness. The person I knew and loved was no longer there. She has passed since but the memories of her final days torment me. I agree with you it is a horrible disease. You seem like a strong person and I’m sure you will deal with it. Sorry for your troubles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank-you for your comment. I too am sorry for your struggles it must have been hard seeing your grandmother slipping further into herself while dealing with your own uncertainty. It is a horrid disease which makes you question everything you know about the person suffering. It is a battle of constant uncertainty of how they will act when you see them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This punctured my heart. Someone very close to me is assumed to have early onset Alzheimer’s. Not the same thing, but the similarities hit home. Stay strong. – glad I finally made it to your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank-you for your comment. I am sorry for the diagnosis, stay strong and find a trusting support group whether be friends or family. I find it helps to rant/talk through it. It is an awful disease which needs to be understood so much more.

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  3. Dementia is the absolute worst. My grandmother has it, and her sister had it, so I’ve seen it up close and personal a few times too many. A very powerful post. Thank you for sharing!

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  4. This wasn’t an easy read as it drags up a lot of stuff about my Grandmother who is currently going through this. I actually saw the title and thought ‘shit, do I want to read this.’
    You handled the topic well though. It’s clear you’re angry but you managed to keep the post simple and to the point. I hope posts like this will help people to realise that something really needs to be done to help push forward research around dementia and it’s not just someone forgetting a few things, it’s the utter destruction and that person’s entire being.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank-you for deciding to read it and taking the time to comment. I’m sorry for what you are going through it is truly a horrible disease. I hope that this post gives comfort to those who have similar feelings and assured them it is okay to feel like that as we all do.

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      1. Unfortunatly it’s one of those things that you don’t understand until you’re seeing it for yourself. I always thought I would cope and be able to see past the illness to the person, but when my grandmother started to deteriorate I realised that it wasn’t like that. It was like grieving over a death but still having this shell, this warped mirror image that meant I couldn’t publicly grieve.

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        1. I agree, it’s hard to know how to come to terms with it because you are losing your relative but physically they are still there. So you can not grieve but you feel like you want to as you know it is not the person you once knew.

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