When D2 (my psychologist) suggested doing this, my initial thought was well, okay maybe I can try, but it was quickly followed by “No way. I’m not good enough to do that. I don’t have the talent. My menopausal brain fog or BPD brain fog has severely impacted on my linguistic skills, so no I can’t do it.” I have been acutely aware that my writing skills and ability to reach into the pile of black treacle in my head and pull out words has severely declined in the last two to three years. The “Nic Thesaurus” is AWOL. My primary language at the moment is to me currently at a fundamental level. Secondary languages have disappeared.
I don’t know what caused this; I don’t know whether it is menopause or mental illness, but I know it kicked in during what was triaged by telephone as an attack of acute vertigo or a minor stroke, but likely acute vertigo. I needed a follow-up appointment with a doctor, but hadn’t lived here long enough so didn’t have a doctor. I signed up at a local clinic a few days later, but was utterly unable to express what happened and could only say I needed a health check. I tried going back on a few occasions but would forget by the time I got there what I went there for. Telling a doctor that you have a “thing” isn’t very informative, so I never got to the bottom of it.
For about eighteen months I was lucky if I could pronounce a word of three syllables. People around me would converse, then pause and explain apparent “big words” to me. It annoyed me, for I knew perfectly well what the meant. But I was incapable of articulating this. I’ve worked very hard on regaining language, but I am a long way from where I was. It has caused a considerable lack of confidence when speaking. Writing is more comfortable than face to face communication.
I am completely incapable of having a linear face to face conversation, but I can be semi-linear if I write things down.
But still, my writing was not good enough, so this blog was just not going to happen. So I told myself I wasn’t good enough. I said to myself I wasn’t strong enough. I convinced myself I could be of no benefit to others.
The project was quickly dismissed. Then one day, I was chatting with a friend, and his advice was, “Why not? If it helps you and can help someone else, why wouldn’t you do it? Why wouldn’t you do something that could help someone else?”
I was in a pretty dark place and didn’t think it would help me in the least. However the thought that I may be able to help someone else; if I were able to articulate to a degree what some of the issues mentioned here feel like from a sufferer’s perspective, it may help – even if it made a difference to a single person. Whether it made someone feel understood, or educated someone; if one tiny piece of something I wrote made a difference, it was worth a go.
At first, it didn’t help at all. It is hard work trying to rein in powerful emotions and express them in a way that could be understood. To do this, I had to allow myself to feel it all. I have been working hard on controlling my emotions, so having to let them just be there, having to keep experiencing them was initially counter-productive.
It may have been helping others, perhaps, I didn’t know – but I did know that at first, it was not helping me.
But then I started getting feedback. Positive feedback. Even encouragement.
I am finding it incredibly difficult to do. Not only due to lack of language but because my brain works at warp speed. I have multiple documents open at any one time. I go about my daily business and my mind races at a million miles an hour on numerous subjects. If a phrase locks in, I race to my computer and type it into the most appropriate document – or open a new one. I will throw down a few words then go back to work.
Sometimes as I am typing, it starts to flow, and the words coalesce into something semi-reasonable. I find that I have completed a post. It takes between fifteen and thirty minutes to complete a document.
I know I need to edit, but my mind is far too busy ping-ponging around the place, and I’m also gardening, doing housework, laundry, ironing, cleaning cottages, setting up, making shopping lists, playing with pets, going shopping etc. It all happens at once, and I know it shouldn’t. I know I should be using mindfulness throughout every moment of every day. I had disciplined myself into doing this – but as I need things to spin around my head, I can’t do other tasks mindfully.
Doing this is increasing disorder in my mind in some ways, yet once I start typing I regain a brief semblance of order.
But there are too many things to talk about. Too much that needs to come out; there are too many topics to cover.
I had planned a very ordered, organised and methodical blog – but that isn’t happening. I’m annoying myself.