My mum and I: an unbreakable bond

I cared for my mum who was diagnosed with early onset dementia at the age of 51 until she passed at the age of 54 in 2013. Caring for my mum was my life for my late twenties, but I did this alongside a full time job and a few volunteer projects I was involved in.

To be able to spend so much time with my mum before she passed was a blessing. Yes, it was staggeringly difficult and upsetting doesn’t even come close to describing it at times, but knowing that I did all I could to make life the best for her that I possibly could is so comforting.

My mum and I’s relationship changed when she developed dementia. My mum had gone from caring for me as a child, to being a great friend in my early adult years, to now a complete role reversal where I became her carer. Caring for someone whose role it was to care for you is hard but it gave me a way to give back to her for everything she had ever done for me as a child. She always put me first and now it was my turn to put her first.

With dementia my mum lost her ability to hold a conversation so it was hard at times to really know how she was feeling inside but the amazing thing was that the one sentence she always remembered and one she said often was "I love you". That was all I could ever need. The relationship may have changed but the bedrock of that relationship remained and never changed, that love for each other.

I was heartbroken when we got the diagnosis and felt so useless knowing that nothing I could do could stop the onslaught of dementia but it didn’t stop me trying to do everything I could in the vain attempt to try and do something to stop it. Doing this was the only thing that kept me going: it was like I fooled myself in to believing things would get better in order to keep positive and to keep trying my hardest. Years since my mum’s passing I still miss her and wish I could turn back the clock but it is great comfort to know that I was with her until the end and to know I did everything I possibly could to help. 

Before my mum passed I made her a promise that I would honour her legacy by writing a book about our experiences and her impact on this world, which I achieved last year with the release of Unbreakable Bond.

I want to create a legacy for my mum, she was about helping others before thinking about herself and the more I can help others, the more I can honour her. On behalf of my mum and me, I would just like to thank the countless carers out there who are all doing amazing work for people who matter and who do really need us.

Relationships like Adam's with his mum are the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2016. Find out how you can get involved.

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