I have pushed myself to the breaking point and past both physically and mentally so many times that I began to wonder if I would every fully recover. I’m 46 years old and struggling to do just the daily tasks of housekeeping and taking care of my daughter. If it weren’t for my parents and my youngest sister I’m not sure that I would even be able to do that. My memory has been so bad that I was worried about becoming one of those people who wander through life lost and confused.
The Walking Dead
In the Spring of 2008 my mother was threatening to put me into the hospital, again. I was a project lead for our most successful automated forms product with tight deadlines quickly approaching. I had just taken the last final for my Associates in Paralegal Studies. I had not slept in three days trying to get everything done on time. I was over the top anxiety wise, exhausted, starting a panic attack, mentally exhausted and relieved to have completed my degree. I slept for two days.
Again I was sliding back into that black hole that sucked the life out of me molecule by molecule. I was terrified that I would not survive this time. It had killed me once and came awfully close other times.
I couldn’t read because I couldn’t follow even the simplest story line. After 35 years I could no longer play the piano because my brain would not talk to my fingers. I had notes everywhere so that I could do my job because I couldn’t remember many of the most basic things I did every day. My anxiety was out of control. I couldn’t get to sleep. I couldn’t wake up. Eating made me sick. I went through the motions and engaged with my family as best I could.
Time To Stop Fighting
I went on like this for two more years. I found a botanical that made the difference between life and death, and I really began to feel better. I quit my job because the stress was too much for me. I decided to start a business (which was less stressful). I did all the research and wrote my business plan. I had everything ready to apply for funding, but I couldn’t get my ducks lined up without crashing. In January of 2012 I decided that it was time for me to finally apply for disability. Both my doctor and my therapist were relieved and we quickly go the paperwork filled out.
I took the year off and played with my daughter. I spent time with my family and friends. I went to the movies. I did a lot of sleeping, solitaire and jigsaw puzzles. It felt amazing to stop and rest for a while. This was when I started to notice that my brain was totally disengaged. The smallest things were difficult for me to do. Thinking was exhausting. Simple physical activity was exhausting. Just living was exhausting.
Healing Takes Time
Over this last year I have slowly been feeling better. At the same time I am more tired and often struggling to function. The light in my brain seems to have finally come back on, but, at the same time, my head feels strange. light-headedness has been a real challenge. Though I am now able to complete a thought my brain does, upon occasion, beam itself elsewhere without warning.
The best way to describe it is my brain itches. I can feel healing going on, but it’s like that itch under a deep scab. I’m not going to rush or push myself in any way because I desperately want my brain to heal itself. At the same time I feel like I’m backsliding. I’m really struggling to simply function. I withdrew when we had friends for dinner because emotionally I could barely handle just my daughter and my parents.
I know that everything will be fine and that healing is going to be a very slow and interesting process. I’ve been fighting sleep for the last hour and I’m off to take a nap. Happy Wednesday everyone!