Technically I lost it along time ago when diagnosed with with bipolar and a host of other mental illnesses.;-)
These days, the problem is more that I am losing thought processes and memory. In one way this terrifies me thanks to living with my Dad’s dementia. However, I try not to dwell on that – while I have inherited several of his conditions, I am not my Dad and I am aware of what is happening with my brain where he was not.
What is happening with my brain?
- I will start a sentence and halfway through the thought is completely gone. Sometimes it will come back (minutes or hours later) and others it is lost forever.
- I completely forget that someone has told me something. I mean we all forget things like that but there can be a small inkling in your mind. With me, whether it was just told to me or a while before, there is nada, nothing. This is one symptom my Dad had.
- I forget where I put things or why I was going to a cupboard, fridge, room, etc.
- There are times where my thought processes are fine, however, the words that match them won’t come out of my mouth properly.
The point of this post is not to complain or to ask for advice. On the contrary, I pretty much know what is going on (one for the brain!). Let’s face it. I take a ton of medication for pain and my mental health, all of which can affect thought processes and the brain in general. I have conditions (chronic pain, fibromyalgia, bipolar, chronic fatigue, etc.) which definitely affect the brain. And, I suffer from severe insomnia, sometimes getting 4 hours to other nights when I get none (my best sleep is about 6 hours and is very rare).
While I get hard on myself for forgetting or not being able to express myself, I never give up. A few years ago I would be a basket case, and don’t get me wrong, I still do have a few melt-downs. However, even these are less frequent and debilitating than previous. Just the fact that I can use my brain to figure out what is going on and to rationalize it with the meds I take and/or my mental/physical health, is a great sign.
The biggest plus factor is I am not alone.
- First and foremost, I have my faith. I actually became a Christian thanks to a friend I met while dealing with my mental health. She kept asking me to go to church with her and when I finally said yes, I knew what was missing in my life. Since that time, I know that everything that goes on in my life is but for the Grace and Glory of God. This is such a comfort.
- I have a husband who works very hard to provide for us, does things for me that he shouldn’t have to without complaint and most of all loves me for who I am and who I am not.
- I have family and friends who, while they may not understand what I am going through, show their support through hugs, prayers, bending an ear, whatever they can.
- Right here in the blogosphere there are so many people who can relate to me on whatever level I am at. We lift each other up, listen (read), and share our experiences. This has been one of the most surprising and awesome benefits I have found since I started blogging.
- I have the internet. As soon as a new condition or symptom comes up I am Googling it. I don’t use it as the be all and end all and I always check several sources on the same topic. However, research helps put it all into perspective.
- Last but certainly not least, I have my fur-kids, Violet and Monkey. They can sometimes comfort me in a way that no one else can. With all their health problems we look out for each other.
So, while it might feel like I am losing my mind, I am gaining a ton more insight into how to cope with it!