January 6, 2010
I am afraid, yes, as my friend Paula and I used to say to one another.
MS is sneaky. It makes you feel "almost normal from behind", another favourite family expression. I think I am the same as I ever was. But I'm not, and I find that inescapably hard.
No, it's not the physical symptoms. Of all the things I miss, it's the mind I miss the most...
Just had a lengthy talk with my ex, a man who knew me (as much as he was capable of) for the last 26 years. He tells me I've changed, that I am emotionally swinging back and forth on a rollercoaster, up and down, unpredictably so. He tells me I am not the same, should not trust myself in public, should warn those who deal with me that unexpected things may happen.
Normally, I'd tell him to get stuffed (I mean, my reactions to an ex are often different than they would be to another person), but he makes a good point. Before I left my job, I knew I had to leave - I was weeping uncontrollably, high as a kite one minute, low as a turtle's underbelly the next. I felt bipolar. It was the fatigue and the lesions seem to be in my mood area, perhaps.
I'm still the same - even his slight criticism of me has made me weepy. Why? Because I was offered the chance to do something interesting, and although I realized it was probably too much to take on, I was talked into a smaller role. Thinking about it now, I know I won't be able to handle it if I am challenged, which I probably will be. My memory losses are legion. Presenting is a terrifying thought, keeping track of conversations is impossible. I can focus for one to 15 minutes - but an entire half day? And remember things? In a crowd of 40 people with opinions of their own? And all the noise?
And imagine if I should break down and cry? I would DIE of embarrassment.
So I'm sad, because I realize I can't do this interesting thing. My circles of operation tighten around me. I feel my MS pants tightening around my body, making it harder to breathe.
It's a grief process every time, because I play with the idea that I can be somebody and then realize that that's all in the past. Now I will be a somebody, but a smaller one, more peripheral, girded about by my MS cerebral hug. Or is that a smothering?
Feeling the need to get drunk....;-) thus killing even more brain cells!
Fortunately I've lined up a helper who may be able to help me redefine myself. I just hope like hell she doesn't tell me to just think positive and do these things. I am too self-aware to do this, amongst my former colleagues. I still have a bit of my pride....