I think we all like to believe that we know ourselves well, but I think that the reality of the situation is that we likely don't have much of an idea of what we do much of the time, let alone what we are capable of. It is a sad reality to come to the realization that not only do I now know what I was capable, I may never be capable of those things again, even if I did know.
At this point, it is impossible to say how far back to where I was I will be able to claw and on days like today where I don't feel that great, it seems further than way than ever.
I have tried to find ways to express what I am going through, but it isn't that easy to get it across to those who have asked. At times, it is like I am walking down a familiar road I have been down a hundred times before, knowing exactly what is coming next and what to expect and then coming suddenly to the edge of a cliff that looks out into nothingness. It is a strange feeling to go from absolute familiarity to being completely in an unknown space with nowhere to go from one moment to the next.
Because I have written over the last years a lot and under many different conditions to the point that I know how my mind works quite well, it is even weirder to feel so much like a stranger in my own head. There is a feeling of disconnection from myself, where it is like I am hallucinating being me, or dreaming I am someone else. It is hard to explain, but even though my surroundings are familiar and I know what I am meant to be doing, it doesn't feel completely like it is my life that I am living.
I have always said how cathartic writing is for me and how it is able to order my head under times of duress and now, I guess I get to put this to the test in more extreme conditions. It might be that due to my writing, I will be able to have a bit of an advantage over myself, as I already have a process inbuilt to explore my mind, without having to create new habits.
One of my wife's friends has experience supporting stroke patients and the advice is for them to relax and do the things they enjoy in life. This is obviously going to be different for each person, but for me, I enjoy thinking and working and putting my mind under some level of stress, but it is like each time I do, someone says that I should do nothing instead.
next week, I am going to have to talk to my supervisor about my job going forward, as currently I am incapable of working, which by itself is a strange thing to explain - because I look okay. Yes, I have an ever so slight drop in the corner of my mouth, but nothing that anyone would notice unless they are married to me, but otherwise, I look healthy and sound healthy enough. Yet, it is only on the surface and just below, as soon as I have to start thinking with a little more complexity or considering a couple of simple things in combination, I struggle.
I am used to acting on the fly, processing multiple streams of information from several people simultaneously and then coming up with an approach, a solution, a story, that is suitable for the circumstances and able to transfer complex ideas to a range of people with various backgrounds, simply. Yesterday, I was struggling to manage my own thoughts, let alone parse the basic social conversations on topics I already understand well with depth of experience and background.
It is embarrassing.
And I know that they understand and they are being patient and are very forgiving on my current state - but I am struggling to be forgiving on myself, because I still have the sense that I know who I am, even though far too often, I end up standing at that psychological cliff, staring into the abyss.
I know that I have to be patient with myself too of course, and that I have to spend more time learning about myself again, rediscovering what is possible, what isn't, what needs work, what is good to go. I have to spend a lot of time reading the fine print in order to make sure I have a good grip on the terms and conditions of who I currently am and what who I am is able to do to improve.
It has only been a week since the first major incident when the ambulance was called and only five days since I was admitted to hospital, so there is a lot of aspects to this that have to settle and will naturally improve. Yet, there is still this sense that I am already losing mental flexibility and I can feel the muscles in my face pinching a little tighter. I feel I have to start rehabbing sooner, rather than later.
But don't rush...
For those reading this, I am not sure if you are getting a lot of value out of it, but what I am hoping is that perhaps people are getting some sense of what I and others like me might be going through at various stages. While it might not help you right at this moment, maybe it will help you in the future with yourself or someone you love and care about.
For me, this is a highly valuable process, but it isn't just writing about this directly, so as normal, I will keep adding all kinds of content as it arrives into my mind and testing the boundaries of my personal terms and conditions, rewriting them for the better, as I can.
[ Gen1: Hive ]