In the last twenty-four hours I have heard from two friends each in crisis with a loved one and uncertain how to proceed. Both were going through that awful self-questioning I’ve put myself through to many times.
“Is something bad happening?”
“Am I overreacting? Is it just the dementia?”
“Maybe I should wait and see?”
“Should I call an ambulance?”
“Should I call the doctor or not?”
“Should I tell (whoever has just called to chat) what’s going on?”
“Is it my imagination?”
“What is going on?”
The answer is simple and impossibly hard:
Go with your gut. Trust your instinct. Don’t worry if you’re wrong.
I have asked each of these questions, at least once all of them together. I have worried that I was over- or under- reacting and then afterwards have berated myself for not acting sooner or for acting too quickly.
But in each case I ultimately trusted my instinct. Sometimes I trusted it more than other times and sometimes my instinct was more right than other times, but it was never entirely wrong.
In hindsight, I can say definitely that there is no definite right or wrong.
This is the advice I want to imprint in my brain, and yours: When facing one of these horrible moments we all will face, TRUST my/your INSTINCT and DO NOT BLAME my/yourself whatever the outcome.