Over the past 36 hours I have done lots & lots of thinking about my adventure into the great abyss. Since that night I have been sort of dazed & pitiful. I don’t like feeling this way. The best way for me to process it all is to write it down and find some perspective. Even if I don’t gain any perspective, it’s hopefully a cathartic action that might lead to some sort of epiphany about the current state of my being.
Beginning with the most superficial of feelings, there are now a few new huge dinks in my pride.
-I came into my own as an adult when I figured out that I have value. I figured out that I was smart and had the capacity to learn more. Over time, other people began to value me for my smartness. I took great pride in that. I even ended up being the “go to” person in some areas for those in my life. Again, I was prideful of that. When I think about it, I think the amount of pride I had in my smarts was a result of feeling like a boob during most my youth and young adult life. I felt like a dolt, an idiot, a useless ditz. I was dumb, I was stupid, I couldn’t tell my ass from a hole in the ground. Now I know that wasn’t really true but in that time, it is what I believed about myself. So when I finally saw that I was smart… wow! That was a real whopper. And now? I have reverted back to that dolt.
-I was so terribly embarrassed to face the coaches the following day. They all looked at me with such pity in their eyes. They walked around me as if I was a fragile little thing (in reality I look like a big fat tick, albeit a cute tick, but a tick nonetheless and we all know ticks are not so fragile at all!). Pride rears up its ugly head. I hated to think about what might going through their minds. Do they consider me a drama queen? I can imagine most people hear the story of my adventure and don’t understand what the big deal was. As much as getting lost is a pain in the ass, it’s not really THAT big a deal… just turn around, find your way back. But this is so much more. It’s that my mind isn’t working correctly. It’s that I couldn’t think in logical ways. It’s that there was no ability to problem solve. Critical thinking? Nope. And there is that pride again. Does it really matter what they think? In the grand scheme of things, no, it doesn’t. But tell my pride that.
-Emotional strength is something that I valued. As a young person, I wore my heart on my sleeve and had no way to control my emotions… or I hadn’t learned to do that yet. Over the last several years I had gotten a good handle on that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very emotional. I cry at the drop of a hat. But I had learned to control it. I reserved my emotions for my private time or for when it was appropriate. The other night I had absolutely no control whatsoever over my emotions. The rapid escalation of fear and sadness was overwhelming to me. And it spilled over onto everything & everyone. Pride has been bitching me out about that ever since. What happened to that strong woman of yesterday? Where did she go?
Next on my list is the knowledge that my MS is progressing, obviously. I have always maintained that I will find a way to deal with the physical shit this disease deals me. Just please leave my mind alone. Well, that’s not happening. When I lose the ability to reason or critically think, the ability to connect the dots and process information… I don’t know what to do with that. And for me, it makes it so much worse that there is one area of my mind that is completely aware when it happens. I KNOW I am confused. I KNOW I’m being dramatic. I KNOW I should be able to figure it out. But the part of my mind in control of that moment isn’t working right. I am so angry and so sad and so, I don’t know…. I can’t believe that I’m losing the ability to process and reason. Once again, here I go being dramatic. But those of you who are or have been in my shoes know what I’m talking about. There is something that is so humiliating about not being able to reason something through – things that you KNOW, things that are familiar, things that have been a part of your life always. Suddenly you can’t process it, whatever it is.
Over the past 36 hours I’ve been given all sorts of well-meaning, well-intended advice on how to avoid this happening again. I have GPS that couldn’t find me, I have maps that I can’t read.Yeah, my mind couldn’t read or process a map at that point. If I can’t figure out how to call someone for help, how in the hell am I going to read a map to figure out where I am and where I need to be, then find the path to get there? There is no way others will understand this ever.
** Actually, my daughter and my father have both given me some good ideas. They involve the ability to ping my phone to locate me as well as talking to me on the phone while they are on a navigation site to guide me home.
I am more than willing to listen to and try out most any idea anyone has to offer up. At this point, my driving has been greatly reduced… and when I do drive somewhere, paranoia is now sitting on my left shoulder holding his head high, the little bastard!
So, in the end, the getting lost part of this adventure really isn’t that big a deal (except that I was probably in a bad area)… what makes it so awful is why it happened and how am I going to deal with it. The injured pride, the loss of a little more independence – these are the things that make it so awful. Pile on a little of that emotional lability shit and the world goes to hell in a hand basket QUICK.
There is more but I can’t remember what I was thinking… it will come back to me I’m sure. And this is just another example of how things are working, or not. Pft.