How do you not define yourself by your APOE4 status?
Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:56 pm
I have had chronic insomnia for many years, sometimes it has been worse, other times, better but I remember a phase for about 2 years when it was really, really bad. I began to think of myself as insomnia, not a person who suffers from it because of how relentless and constant it was. Now I find myself teetering on the edge of an identity crisis of genetic making; increasingly, I don't feel like I am just a person but I am an APOE4 person. The fact that I carry a copy of that gene changes everything and all the research and obsessive interest I have taken in my condition only fuels it. It seems like folly to ignore it; it is a very real risk. On the other hand I am well familiar with the the descend into the depths of obsessive madness and fixation where everything is defined by a single condition you have or suffer from. I am struggling at the moment; on the one hand I do not wish to think about APOE4 and Alzheimers day and night, but on the other I do not wish to live in blithe ignorance and indifference. I do not think there is a ready solution but I am wondering if anyone else here has gone through this, allowed him/herself to be consumed by the unfortunate knowledge of having lost the genetic lottery? Perhaps it is similar to the phases of acceptance when one is terminally ill. There is a period of rage and then as the fires of anger die you begin to accept but for the life of me I cannot find a happy medium, somewhere where I do not ignore the unfortunate genetic reality and somewhere where I am not ground to dust by rumination. Again, I don't expect solutions at all, rather I would appreciate any sort of commentary of commiseration and relatability. Best.