PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Dark Night of the Soul

For me, this "Dark Night of the Soul" has to do with my finding my way, my identify, my life without Gregory being by my side. Gregory and I have never in our fourty+ year relationship merged identities. We have always grown together as well as on parallel tracks. So in many way we both have been independent as well as dependent. But this has changed, for at least 11+ years now and for sure during the last 17 months while he has been at The Lieberman Center.

He is still with me but in a greatly reduced way, in a way that I must create anew in order to be able to see and enjoy. While we are still "a couple," we do not do most things together, do not share intimate moments, do not plan or make decisions together, do not vacation together, do not laugh together while watching a TV show, do not share a meal or a bowl of popcorn, do not float on the notes of a musical piece by Chopin, do not anticipate our future.

He finds comfort in my just being there and I do in his but it is a different kind of comfort. I have no one who I can really "find a shoulder to cry on" or to share my grief, my joys, my continued hopes, my aspirations and ambitions.

So slowly I am discovering who I am and who I will be during this next phase of my life. I will survive this and the light will slowly increase in brightness. I am sure I will go through other "Dark Nights of the Soul" as Gregory continues to disappear and eventually when he dies.

Life if joyous, bright, meaningful, exciting, stimulating. Painful!


May 20, 2015
Dark Night of the Soul
Surrendering the Egoby Madisyn Taylor

While we are in a dark night of the soul experience, hold steady knowing the light will appear once again.

Whenever a word is overused, it is most likely being misused, and over time, it begins to lose its meaningfulness. For example, we often refer to a fleeting feeling of depression or a period of confusion, as a dark night of the soul, but neither of these things qualifies as such. A dark night of the soul is a very specific experience that some people encounter on their spiritual journeys. There are people who never encounter a dark night of the soul, but others must endure this as part of the process of breaking through to the dawn of higher consciousness.

The dark night of the soul invites us to fully recognize the confines of our egos’ identity. We may feel as if we are trapped in a prison that affords us no access to light or the outside. We are coming from a place of higher knowing, and we may have spent a lot of time and energy reaching toward the light of higher consciousness. This is why the dark night has such a quality of despair: We are suddenly shut off from what we thought we had realized and the emotional pain is very real. We may even begin to feel that it was all an illusion and that we are lost forever in this darkness. The more we struggle, the darker things get, until finally we surrender to our not knowing what to do, how to think, where to turn. It is from this place of losing our sense of ourselves as in control that the ego begins to crack or soften and the possibility of light entering becomes real.

Some of us will have to endure this process only once in our lives, while others may have to go through it many times. The great revelation of the dark night is the releasing of our old, false identity. We finally give up believing in this false self and thus become capable of owning and embracing the light. 

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