Apr 8, 2018

Breathing with my logged out brain

I looked at the yellow tulips (although I was thinking they were daffodils) and wondered: has there been some kind of holiday?

Tuesday morning I woke up feeling strange. Like I had been dreaming something making me uncomfortable. I tried to grasp the dream floating on top of my head and pull it in to my brain to get a grip of it. I didn’t succeed. I got out of bed, saw the tulips and couldn’t understand what they were and why. 

Yes there was a holiday last weekend. In Sweden Easter is a four day weekend. I had four unscheduled days at home with myself. I normally don’t enjoy Easter. It’s a really long and lonesome holiday. It kind of never ends. But for the first time in many years I had been looking forward to it. Four days of nothing was just what I needed.

And the weekend started with me getting the relieving message the City had decided not ruining my life! As you might remember from last weeks post I had been waiting in anxiety for five months of what would happen with my home care.

Also, for the same amount of time I have been trying to get myself a pair of new glasses, my old lovely ones had been pinching a whole on my nose and there was no way back, I had to let them go. This turned out to be an extremely taxing project where no frames worked because of the little wound and the glass itself was a disaster. Last week, on the fourth try, I was finally delivered a pair of glasses that works for me. The wound is still there but now at least (sex months later) hopefully it has a chance to heal.

So, I entered Easter with a pulse slowly finding a better pace. I totally enjoyed my four lonely days. Took care of some office things I’ve been wanting to attend to for a long time. Wrote my blog posting on Sunday of course. And spent Monday preparing for a meeting. Good days of my own choice.

And on Tuesday morning I couldn’t tell tulips from daffodils and only had a vague idea of a holiday. When Mohammed came (I still haven’t told you about Mohammed, but I will) I told him I was feeling strange and that I might start repeating myself. You already have, he said, five times.

I have been here before. Some years ago. At that time it was straight away to the ER, I was thinking stroke. I was thoroughly examined for 24 hours but found free from that kind of brain damage.

The damage was on a cognitive level. Facing a difficult loss my brain logged out. That’s what it feels like. When you don’t find your way in the cell phone. When you reed an email you have written yourself and don’t understand it. And it looks different at every read. When you are repeating yourself over and over again because you don't know what you are saying. 

This is scary stuff. It’s like your brain is wide open. Anything can come out of it and anything might dive down there. It’s like there is no filter protecting. You simply don’t have any control of your brain. Well, we never have of course, that’s an illusion, but an illusion that mostly works.

So why this time? It’s pretty simple. After months and months in an extremely strained condition the tension slowly let go. And it’s not only the home care decision and the glasses, no it’s been one thing after thee other for more than a year now. No catastrophes, for which I am truly grateful, but lengthy difficulties draining me. 

It’s also been fun stuff which I have enjoyed. But even fun can be draining when there is never space to recuperate.

Here was the space though. Four unscheduled days by myself. Pulse slowing down. An opportunity for the brain to realize on which level it’s been working. And to put the brake on. Okay guys, this is it for me for a while. I’m off for vacation. Or a really deep nap. 

I hadn’t experienced any warning signs. It has definitely been a lot for a very long time, but I have been handling it. Handling it pretty good I’ve been thinking. Been kind of proud of myself.

So here I am now. Soul and mind fragile. Loosing words here and there. Heart off and on raising. Unexpected anxieties floating up rushing over me. Exhausted. Eyelids closing. But also talking in hyper speed without breathing. I had no idea I was in such a bad condition.

What to do? Well, I remember coping strategies from last time this happened. Protect myself from input and information. CNN a big no. Way to loud and frantic. Breath. Put the computer away between every email, close my eyes and breathe. 25 in and out. Only have one window open at the time. Treat everything I do as an isolated act between which there is to be a pause. This is not easy, it needs training to not fall into reflex behavior.

What more can I do? Not much really. I am not in charge over the home care personal situation which is crucially important to me. I know the management is doing everything in their power for me, but sometimes the situation is unstable and I have to be brave and strong and smiling although I just want to give in and cry. That’s of course taking it’s toll and a significant part of where I am at right now.

Acknowledge the place I am in. Let the anxieties show up and watch them. They are okay, only neglected. Pet my lovely cat lady. Enjoy the April sun outside my window reflected in a meter (3,28 feet) of crisp white snow. I’ve left my balcony door open an inch. Suddenly a tortoise-shell butterfly finds it’s way in leaving me and my cat astonished. A meter of snow and a butterfly! Poor thing. I am thinking I am not the only one confused and lost in context. I am in good company.

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