May 28, 2021

I am now on a new path that I hadn’t expected.  I truly planned  to follow the only legal path to my death before Alzheimer’s reduced me to follow my aunt and grandmother’s paths through Alzheimer’s, but it didn’t work out that way.

My only legal path to death was through denying myself food and drink for three or so weeks.  Dehydration would do the rest.  It wasn’t a pleasant option, but it was legal IF I was reasonably mentally competent.   Basically, I still was.

Spending 22 years in a retirement community had taught me that home-grown methods of suicide often didn’t go as planned, or ended up with unintended consequences.

But dying by dehydration requires medical help that doesn’t prevent the suicide, but makes it possible to push the body into successful dehydration within weeks.

I had been waking up with unexplained panic attacks that had no words, but left me with a feeling of unnamed dread.  I eventually figured out the source of the panic attacks.  My dear grandmother and aunt were telling me I had better commit suicide or I would end up for years as a senseless lump on a bed as they had.  Besides the other sad aspects of Alzheimer’s is the fact that it is generally long lived until death finally releases the victim.

Once I identified the source of my panic attacks, I thanked my aunt and grandmother  for  their warnings and the panic attacks ended.

But I failed to find a relative or friend who would act as my advocate and companion during the two, three, or more weeks that it would take to die.  Granted, it is a lot to ask of anyone, but without that advocate who could act as proof that the doctor had followed all the legal rules of the death being of my own free will, I could not continue with that plan.

And so, I turned in another direction.  The harsh restrictions of the pandemic were coming to an end.  I knew of a care facility not far from the city where I lived and arranged to try out living there for one month to check out what it would be like to live there.

Actually, after one week there, I jumped to the decision to take the little room I quickly had fallen in love with.  Seeing an end to the pandemic, more and more people were moving in.  My little room was one of only a limited supply of small and cheaper rooms.  I was afraid I would lose it if I didn’t claim it after the one month.  And, in a week,  I had an idea of what living there would be like.  So, I went from being temporary to being permanent.  And started to truly settle in.

All of a sudden, after 22 years of living in one place, I quickly had to make many decisions, including how to finance the move to a much more expensive place to live.

I made the change surprisingly easy.  I was worn out from the year of the pandemic and weighing my chances of dying.  I was worn out from being so lonely.  So, I turned my energy into making a new life for myself.

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