Friday, July 26, 2019

Brain Shut-down

My brain shut down for a week. I mean like, out-of-order, out-to-lunch. Restart button is not going to cut it. There would be no figuring, calculating, writing, thinking or fixing of anyone’s anything for seven complete days. 

The summer virus from hell, or maybe it was heaven-sent, showed up out of nowhere. The first symptoms were chills, then a low-grade fever, along with a dry cough. Headaches, body aches, and general brain-numbness. A basic lack of ability to think clearly or with any degree of complexity.

The wonderful side-effect of all of that non-thinking was the inability to worry and constantly problem-solve as my brain always does, even when I’m trying to sleep. My brain doesn't shut off. That button is defective. You push the button at bedtime. It may work. It might not. It may work for a while and then suddenly turn back on at three o'clock in the morning. 

I was constantly hungry, but couldn’t think of anything healthy to eat. There was no energy or awareness to call and coordinate doctors, attorney’s and elder-care agencies to work on the current situation with my mom. Her lack of mobility and inability to climb the stairs to take a shower would simply have to wait. 

As a writer, I feel the incessant need to write. Especially, if there is some quiet time available. Nope! My brain wasn’t having it. Thoughts would come and then go before I could get them down on paper. 

I tried my normal witty banter on social media. Every status was dumb and more boring than the last. I found myself whining about the details of being sick. And then I realized how much I hate when people do that. No one really gives a shit about your coughing fit and the fact that you can’t seem to wake up. No one needs an announcement about your naps and headaches. 

So, I would find myself posting and then when the fever would break and I got some nutrition into my body, I would come to my senses and delete the posts. I did this over and over again. 

I discovered that I don't simply love social media, I love my own narcissistic banter on social media. I love the parts I control. I love my clever friends and fellow-positive thinkers, people who are honest and funny. I pretty much hate the parts I can't control. Like all of the political posts and posts about criminals. Can't scroll past that crap fast enough.

I am so generous, I spared all of my friends the selfies I took of myself looking pathetic, in bed with an unwashed face and hair that hadn’t been washed or combed in days. There were many thoughts of shaving my head during this seven-day period. Thankfully, I didn't have enough energy to follow through.

The point is that my body and mind took a break to get the rest that it needed. It didn’t wait for me to agree to the deal. It just bogarted! 

bogart -according to google...

  1. selfishly appropriate or keep (something, especially a lit marijuana cigarette).
    "don't bogart that joint, my friend"

Not that I know anything about marijuana. That's all Google.

My body took what it wanted, stopped and looked at me like, 
'Yeah. What you gonna do? Nothing! Lay your ass back down and go to sleep! These people and their problems will still be here ready to suck your blood next week when I’ve had enough rest. Thank you very much.'

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Rescuing Myself

Do you ever walk around thinking...Boy, my attitude sucks? I wish I could change it.

No matter how much inner dialogue you have with yourself, it doesn’t change. You walk around feeling slighted, taken advantage of, angry. You end up lashing out at people you love knowing damn well that isn’t going to change anything.

This whole therapy, self-awareness, self-love and care thing is great. Until you realize that your biggest problem is you. You’re allowing negative thoughts and feelings to rule your life. You’re angry because you’re not getting what you want from others but then you realize, you’ve been looking in the wrong place. You should be looking in the mirror.  

The last time I wrote here, I talked about my latest challenge with my mother’s declining mobility. I was experiencing all kinds of emotions and feelings about my new increase in job duties. I was overwhelmed, and I still am but I'm moving through it anyway. I was feeling like I was being knocked back down just as I was trying to get up. I was angry because the freedom that I thought was in reach after raising these intense children, has been pushed back.

In the past few weeks, I have re-evaluated the situation and my attitude about it. Through journaling, I remembered that the only person I can control is myself. I’ve gone from feeling pissed off, tired and angry and I'm arriving at acceptance. 

My mother is almost 80-years-old. Her health, mental and physical is what it is. As much as I want her to snap out of it and have more of a, "I can do this" attitude. I can't control that. 

I can want someone to come and help me with what feels like an overwhelming task. But, I am the only person I’m in charge of. 

This isn’t my first challenge in life and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I’ve had some pretty big obstacles to overcome when it came to raising and advocating for two children with autism. Somehow, I always worked through the challenges and made things happen. I never accepted the words, “No. We can’t do that.” 

Yes, of course, you can. You just have to think outside of the box. There’s always a way. 

I have never let roadblocks stand in my way. And by roadblocks, I mostly mean other people who do not care about the outcome of my situation as much as I do. Sometimes, roadblocks are arbitrary rules that are set up that make you want to just give up and not ask for what you need. Giving up is not in my DNA. 

I have always managed to get what my children needed from every doctor, therapist, teacher and school administrator. I showed up like a dog with a bone until the boy’s educational and psychological needs were met.

In the current challenge of figuring out my mother’s next phase, and advocating for her needs, I will do as I have always done. I will work it out and I won’t wait for anyone else to make it happen. 

I remember the last time Mom was in the hospital and they were trying to figure out where her sudden confusion was coming from. Her sodium level was low. That explained some of it, but I knew there was more to it. I would not leave the hospital until I got a Psych consult. That led to us finding a doctor who could help her. The consult got us a referral for my mom to be seen sooner, rather than later.  

In the quest to change my attitude about my current situation, I thought about something I read a while ago. I don't think this is the original quote I read, but this is basically the sentiment.

No one is coming to rescue you from yourself: your inner demons, your lack of confidence, your dissatisfaction with yourself and your life. Only self-love and good decisions will rescue you. – Jenni Young 

I am here to rescue myself.