This is one side of the pillow I made for my mom to encourage her to “self-soothe.”
I used cotton poplin photo fabric on which to print out the 25th anniversary photo of my parents, my mother’s favorite photo of the two of them. Then I pieced washable satiny fabric around the photo to make the pillow the size I wanted it to be. The great thing about the photo fabric I used is that it’s washable.
On the other side of the pillow is a photo of what there is of my mother’s immediate family. (It’s the same photo I used in our holiday card.) I call it the “family pillow,” and she holds it while she falls asleep. She doesn’t like sleeping alone in her bedroom; she says she’s afraid (not unusual for people with dementia). But when I tuck the family pillow under her arm and remind her that she has the whole family with her, she relaxes and is able to fall asleep.
We all need ways to self-soothe. I’ve been doing it with chocolate. But that hasn’t been enough.
So, today, just as the heavy flakes started falling, I had my first visit with a therapist who uses approaches to which I respond better than “talk therapy” and who takes Medicare. I’m still processing what went on in this first session, but I will say that I felt much lighter as I left than I felt when I got there.
Maybe I will make myself a pillow with the images that I need to empower myself to relax.