Wednesday, February 1, 2017

(Not) Making Memories

Last August, I woke up one morning and thought, "Huh.  I think there is something I have to do today."  After lying in bed for a few minutes and thinking really hard, I realized that OH, YEAH, TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF FALL SEMESTER.  I HAVE TO GO TEACH CLASS.

Clearly, I'm crushing life.

About a year and a half ago, I started getting really worried that I might be losing my mind.  My whole life, I've been incredibly OCD.  I am never late, and I don't forget appointments EVER, or specific dates of any kind.  I can still tell you the birth date of every ex-boyfriend I have ever dated, as well as the exact date of when we started dating and broke up (and, probably, what I was wearing).  I know all my pets' birthdays (both living and deceased) for God's sake.  I KNOW B'S EX-GIRLFRIENDS' BIRTHDAYS, YOU GUYS. (Note:  This is due to me asking back before we even began dating and were just friends because I like to know people's astrological signs.  It's always entertaining to imagine him, an Aries, trying to make it work with a Taurus. Hell, my bff is a Taurus and they've nearly killed each other a dozen times just trying to be friends.  A romantic relationship would be like World War III, on crack.)  It's not a numbers thing--I'm terrible with numbers (I still don't know my home phone number and we've had it for a year and a half, during which I've only had to write it down or recite it to someone about a billion times)--but it's more like I have a day planner in my head that I can visualize and see the things I need to remember.  And if somebody ever tells me a date (or I see it written down somewhere) I won't forget it.  Dates just stick.

Except all of a sudden, they don't anymore.  And neither does anything else.

Well, that's kind of a lie.  I can remember SOME things.  I just can't remember EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME, like I used to, and I don't seem to have any control over what I DO remember.  Completely irrelevant date of the last time I had the dog groomed?  July 25th.  Got it.  Important school meeting at the elementary school?  I have no idea.  (Turns out, as B reminded me, it's TONIGHT.)  I don't forget things like that.  I DON'T.  So why am I now?  And while it's not just dates (I lose my train of thought all the time, I don't remember if I've already told B or the kids something or not when sometimes it was only five minutes ago that I told them), there are also lots of things I still DON'T forget.  I never misplace my keys, or forget where my car is parked.  I can tell you the final grade of every student I have taught the past two semesters.  But......B came in with an envelope from the mailbox one day addressed to "484," laughing, and commented that "they almost got it right."  I thought about it for a minute and said, "What are you talking about?"  B was like, "Um, we're 448."  Oh.  Yeah.  Right.  We are.  Should I have noticed that?

Back to losing my mind.

So when this started, I thought I was probably getting early-onset Alzheimer's Disease at the ripe old age of 38.  My grandma actually died of Alzheimer's, but it wasn't early onset.  I saw one doctor who blamed my Celiac disease (it is very true that you get a horrible Brain Fog if you have Celiac when you get "glutened"--but it only lasts a couple of days, thank goodness), and another couple of doctors I was seeing for other things said it was almost certainly stress and anxiety (and that I was making myself crazy with my Alzheimer's paranoia-- THANK YOU, CAPTAIN OBVIOUS).  A couple of friends my age say they are having the same issues, and one of them suggested that she thinks it's hormonal.  B is on the stress bandwagon and says that I'm always too distracted to notice anything to remember it.  Nobody thinks I'm getting Alzheimer's.  (I'm surrounded by optimists!  Or maybe I'm a hypochondriac.)  Whatever the cause, I wish I could make it stop.  

One theory I have, other than Alzheimer's, is that my brain just got too full of random, useless tidbits and now refuses to hold any non-urgent information.  I mean, I've read about a hundred zillion books in my life, to the point that they now all run together and I can't tell you what happened from one to the next . The second I finish the last page, I forget pretty much the entire thing.  Last time I went to the library, I literally checked out two books that I had already read and didn't realize it until a few days later when I was halfway through one of them and thinking, "This is so familiar!"  Then I realized I had read it about two years ago, put it away, picked up the other and realized I had read it too (only this time I figured it out on the first page).

And so I've been paying attention to my crazy, trying to suss out what's causing it.  Turns out, B is right, I think.  I don't pay attention to ANYTHING that happens.  I'm ALWAYS thinking about something else.  I'm completely lost in my head.  Even when I'm "being mindful," I'm not being mindful because I'm too busy freaking out inside that I'm not actually being mindful (or about something else--I'm almost constantly freaking out inside).  Problem is, I don't know if this is happening to other people, I don't know what the root of the trouble is, and I don't know how to make it stop.

SO, I'm going to (attempt) to start blogging more, because that seems to help.  I'm going to (attempt) to keep meditating, although I think it's ridiculously stupid and a waste of my time because my concentration is nil.  And if nothing else works and B locks my ass up in assisted-living for memory care, stop by and visit.  It'll be good to make a new friend....every time you visit.


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