Still Alice

stillaliceStill Alice

Have you read the book by Lisa Genova or seen the movie?  I read the book a few months ago and watched the movie over the weekend.  Tears poured down my cheeks while reading so when I watched the movie, I thought it would be easier.  But I was wrong.

Being that I presently have two loved ones in my family with the disease, the book and movie hit home in a way that hurt me to my core.  Perhaps it’s because I have such profound empathy for Alice.  I can imagine as I watched and read Still Alice, what she was enduring.  Perhaps because it hit so close to home these days in my life, that it left me sobbing at times and even after the book and movie were over, I felt despondent.

To process the feelings that I carry, I’ve had to dig deeply and to accept what perhaps I had yet to accept in my life and in the lives of my loved ones.  Still Alice shined a direct flashlight on my current situation with my family in a way that allowed the tears that I’d been holding back for so long to be released.  The depression that I have been hiding for so long about my two loved ones situation and my dealing with the present situation came to light head on (pun intended).  I watched as Alice began to repeat herself, to lose herself and her precious memories.  I sympathized with her family who felt frustrated by her increasing forgetfulness, the constant repetition and her lack of focus.  It gave me a way to see my loved ones in a different light.  It allowed me to feel not so alone on this journey and to not feel guilty for the frustration that I face in dealing with their disease.

I wish I could tell you that it gave me strength, but alas, it simply broke my heart, over and over again.  I want everything to be better for Alice and for my loved ones.  I fear that genetic factor will be a possibility for me as well.  The more I learn about the disease, I realize that I could face the same situation down the road someday.

I am frightened.  I know that it does me no good to fear what may or may not come my way.  I know that I must rule my own mind, stay strong and do my best.  But if you are a sibling or child of someone with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, you will understand how I’m feeling.

Do you feel the same way?

Shine On!

xo

 

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32 thoughts on “Still Alice

  1. Yep I understand we have watched my Auntie slowly go down hill, before she passed. My Mum is in her eighties and going strong but she still has that fear it may be in our genetics and so do I. I guess we take one day at a time Yvonne. My father use to say if it happened to him don’t put him in a home. It use to worry me because its a very stressful thing to look after our loved ones and usually care is needed. My Dad did not have to worry about such things, cancer took him, and so I remember never to say to my kids don’t put me in a home. I would rather that than put them under so much stress.

    • It is stressful either way, to have loved ones at home or in a home away from home. I’ve been on both sides and neither is easier unfortunately as there are benefits and losses either way. I think we just do the best we can with what we have at that time. I’m sorry to hear about your Dad and Auntie. Hard times for sure…so happy your Mom is still here and going strong. xoxo

  2. We just finished this book in my book club last week! I’ve rented the movie and plan on watching it in the next few days, or over the weekend. One of our members commented that the movie was seriously lacking as compared to the book. Eager to find out for myself.

    The emotions tied around this book were incredibly varying. We had some women who sobbed uncontrollably throughout the book, the theme hitting far too close to home. Others appreciated it, but it didn’t illicit the same emotions as they couldn’t relate.

    All in all, it was a fantastic read and we had some great conversations about the book, our experiences, and the disease in general.

    • For me, it hit home. I read the book and watched the movie. I believe it was the emotional tug which brought such tears to my heart both with the book and the movie. I liked both versions, book and movie and I think there were positive parts to the movie as it felt as if it showed the family responses to Alice’s decline that were expressed in the book, but sometimes a movie can show it as well in a way the book can’t. Thanks for stopping by to visit and to comment. I appreciate our connection! ♥

      • I actually just watched the movie a few nights ago. I agree completely with you in that both the movie and the book conveyed equally important emotional aspects. I felt that the movie helped me get more emotionally connected with the story physically seeing the characters responses to her decline. All in all, a fantastic book and movie! Really glad we selected this for our club.

        I appreciate our connection as well!!! 😀 ❤

    • Beautiful review Elizabeth. I wish I could have figured out how to ‘like’ the review. I will have to go back to figure it out, but wanted to read your review first before I wrote back here. There are many books which capture you like that one and I think I would have read it anyway even if I weren’t in my present situation. The movie is great as well, but a tear-jerker too. I’m a reader so I wasn’t sure I wanted to see it, but I am glad I did watch the movie. Glad I watched it alone so that I didn’t have to hold back the tears.

  3. I read the book and saw the movie, Yvonne, and I know how you feel. Watching my mother go through all the stages was traumatic for me, and I’ll never be the same again. But the story of Alice did provide me with more clues as to how Mom handled certain deficits.
    I pray there will be a cure soon for this horrific disease.

      • Thank you, Yvonne. Another thing the story did for me: it lent credence to the advice I was given at the time of Mom’s dementia, the assurance that we were suffering more than she was. There came a point in the story for Alice where she didn’t seem to be conflicted anymore psychologically. But then I remember the pain my mother was in physically toward the end when she became increasingly less mobile, and finally bedridden. Oh my, there really is no way to sugar coat it, I’m afraid.

  4. I too don’t know what to say, and “Liking” this didn’t feel right either. Know that you and your loved ones are in my thoughts and I wish you all the best.

  5. There is no way to express what I feel in my heart for you. No one can understand what you are going through unless they have traveled that road themselves. I hope with every fiber of my being, I never find myself on that road. You have every right to all the feelings you are having. They are teaching you something. I can see you biggest feeling is FEAR. That one I really get. I lost a bit of my thought processes when the Bells struck and having a stroke or dementia terrifies me. No one will fault you for having them. If they do, that’s their problem. We all understand.

    • Your kindness and understanding are a blessing to me truly and I am so grateful for our blogging connections. Yes, fear is a factor which I debate and try to drop at every corner for I know it does not serve me. But it lurks at times and rears its ugly head through my writings when it becomes overwhelming. I think that’s a universal feeling which when we connect, we can move through the fear. You know, like holding hands, it’s about connecting. ♥

  6. Heartbreak is the center of this story, and my heart breaks knowing you deal with this every day. I wondered during the film, if the genetic test the daughter took was a blessing or a curse. Have you thought about it Yvonne? Having the gene does not determine an absolute outcome, but would knowing be better or more frightening…I just don’t know. There are no words that will make any of this easier for you, Lord knows I wish there were. You are in my prayers and always in my heart…xoxo

    • Rhonda, as you are in mine…thank you! I have not yet decided as I think there is much at stake in knowing or not knowing and even though I am a planner by nature, I’m not at that place yet. I did to genetic testing for my cancer and I do not have the gene which means my children are safe thank God. ♥ I’m praying for more medical knowledge before I take that leap I think…

      • I think I would do that same. It would be different if knowing would change anything. I watched the movie again with my husband a couple of nights ago. I hesitated to ask him when I saw it the first time, because his Grandmother had Alzheimer’s and died not long after our first child was born. He’s always felt bad about his later memories of her, and would say how he wished they had had a warmer, more loving adult relationship…of course he knew what this disease does to people, but perhaps it’s harder to rationalize when your young. But he sees now that she had no control over who she became, and told me he’d ask her forgiveness when next they met, where he felt she would be, again, what she once was.

  7. I have not read the book or seen the movie. I am afraid of all that I would feel in doing so.
    My heart goes out to you Yvonne. Sending love and light to nourish and refresh your spirit.💛

  8. I read the book but did not see the movie. The book was frightening to me in so many ways but I was still glad I read it. An eye opener for sure. Blessings to you Yvonne.

    • Blessings back to you Gail. The book told it all, the movie showed it. Both good as far I felt, but too, I get the frightening part. For me it gave me more compassion and understanding for what patients are dealing with on a daily 24/7 basis.

  9. Yvonne,
    It is true that we find comfort knowing that we are not alone in our trials and that they are not so unique. The tears shed are the result of that shared burden being lifted; even momentarily. We can feel God’s comforting hand on our shoulder as we move forward with the challenging task that is ours.
    Those we administer to with our loving care also serve a valuable purpose. They provide the opportunity for us to be better people.
    -Alan

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