File under: “Some stuff I’ve learned”
When I wrote “Purple Morning Glories and Gold Lady Bugs” that was a sketch of my life. There is so much more I want to write. I just have to figure out how to approach the task. Because a book needs some cohesion to make it all hang together. Which is why I haven’t gotten a book written. I have to dump it all out first. Maybe once I do that, I can pick through it and organize it into something a normal mind can actually follow.
I’m sorry, I think I went into a coma just thinking about that for a second. That would entail planning. Do you know what I say about planning? What have I told you about me and planning?
Planning interferes with my process. I have one mode. Random. It’s all I got. If I can’t make something work using that method, then I can’t make it work. So instead of trying to function within the confines of the “Law of S’posed To” I have had to learn how to work with what I have. Which is definitely not the same as what I used to have.
Chronology is not my strong suit. Because some periods of my life were extremely high-stress for extended periods (some by virtue of the circumstances, some by bad choices, some due to my innate super-sensitive nature, and some due to physical or psycho-physiological dysfunction) my “recall” is not great. I’m what they in the medical profession would refer to as a “poor historian”. There are holes. Think Swiss Cheese.
Yep, I’m fifty. Be fifty-one next month, but I was like that when I was thirty. (Some of my oldest friends would probably go with an even earlier date).
I am going to let you in on an embarrassing secret. I keep a written “timeline” that I have reconstructed over the years, with details of dates for certain events. I can remember when my kids were born. That’s good at least. And when I got married (this time). But when I worked where, what year I had that surgery, I have had to refer to that timeline at various junctures for reasons running the gamut from filling out a job application, to filling in medical history for a new doctor. I have joked about the fact that it would be really nice to have a disk defragmenter for my brain. Then I realized, duh, my sleep disorder that went untreated for so many years?!?! No wonder the old file cabinet is so disorderly! Our brains do that processing when we sleep. That is the time when our subconscious kicks in and sorts through all the data we have “input” during the waking hours. Speaking in scientific terms, my brain waves were chaotic for years and years on end. It is a wonder it’s not a worse mess in my brain than it is. It’s a wonder the Environmental Safety Commission hasn’t declared it a disaster area!
Have you noticed that kids today are as scatter-brained and forgetful as our grandparents were? How well you file things away initially, is influenced by how many different “applications” (distractions) you already have running when you are trying to do so. We used to have brains like the old analog television, with three stations at the most. These days we are like those televisions that let you split the screen and watch four football games at once. Who can really pay attention to four games at once, other someone like Rain Man? And of course the only reason Rain Man can do it is that he has lassoed all the parts of his brain that are supposed to tell him important stuff like “put on your pants” and “don’t walk out in front of that Tractor Trailer” and somehow applied them to use for lofty stuff like quantum physics and solving the Riemann hypothesis. And no, just because I know how to use that properly in a sentence doesn’t mean I have any idea what it is.
Back when I was so messed up before I started getting anything diagnosed, I was barely functioning and just trying to keep going so I could raise my kids, work when I had to, and all that. I had done up my little “breakfast nook” in my kitchen, as my own little “happy place”. It was crammed with all my “comfort things”. I had a wing-back chair that was my “prayer chair” in there. (Do I get a flag-on-the-play there for overuse of quotation marks? Sorry!). I put stuff all over my walls in there that had decorated my cubicles in some of the nursing jobs, favorite pictures of friends I missed, favorite kid pictures, the little melamine plates with the turkey hand prints they made in kindergarten, cute Calvin and Hobbes cartoons, you get the idea. Hodge-Podge City.
When I started taking meds for the Bipolar and some of the tangles in my head started slowly getting unraveled, (that only took a year and a half on the meds to see some improvement) the sheer magnitude of “content” of that room was suddenly just overwhelming, necessitating its eventual dismantling. But during the time I had it like that, it was like all the things I could no longer “contain” in any sensible or orderly fashion inside my head, I needed them visually “out” where I could look upon them like some kind of touchstone.