Saturday, August 15, 2015

Acceptance versus Hope

One of my last post was about my neuro psychology testing.  After this was all done, I was referred to go see a Psychologist in the same building as the neuro psychologist. I have been seeing her on average of once a week for the past 3 months.  She is lovely, young, pretty, soft spoken, and truly listens.  I know I know, that is what psychologists are supposed to do right? but somehow, I think she really does care.  She is someone that I would be friend with if she was my neighbor or/and was "professionally allowed" to be my friend.  Its been very helpful to me, even if it seems that I do most of the talking. Haha Its a good way to "think out loud" and than receive honest feedback. She asks questions. Very good questions. Questions you never think of asking yourself.  Then I answer and have revelations. Hahahaha    It is especially nice to be able to talk to someone about issues that I have with no fears of being told that I am crazy. Someone who really is "neutral" on the issues.

The main reason why I started seeing her, is to be able to untangle all that mess created by this condition, the surgery, the recovery, the new normal, who I was, who I am now, and who I want to be.  However, I believe that any of my issues are mine, and mine only. My responsibility. I will not spend the rest of my life blaming this surgery for the things that I truly struggle with.  I want her to help me accept them, and feel ok with them, yet leave room for improvement on those things as well.  I have learned so much about myself these past few months. It really helps to understand what i have understood. That's vague, i know :) Just go see your own psychologist and you will understand. hahaha

Its been difficult to deal with any issue, and wonder if this is it, should I just accept it, learn to live with it, and move on? Or should I keep hope and not accept that this is it?  I have come to understand that it is a bit of both!! I have stopped trying to figure it out and just let things be. I do my best, and because of that, and because I am 100% confident that I do my very best, why worry? Just let it be. If its meant to get better, it will. If its meant to settle, it will. As long as I do my best, we're good.

That makes me think... my writing! Well, it is coming back very well!!  I was not able to write for 2 years!!  That amazes me that after 2 years, it seems that all over sudden, my  hand got strong enough to write.  It is not my past hand writing, and will never be, but it looks better than some people. Sorry "some people".  

One HUGE thing for me that I have learned with the psychologist in the past few months (no, I am not talking about my butt), is to truly know myself, know my limits, and act (or not act) on them.   For example, I wanted to feel "normal" and act "as before" once I hit that one year mark post surgery, that I pushed myself so hard thru so many things that I was struggling with. I was always someone who "pushes herself" and I really believe it has served me well in a lot of areas, but I just pushed myself "too hard" on this one. Its been difficult to figure "ok is this an area where I CAN push myself and i will get stronger every time, or is this an area that is so damaged and limited that IF i push, i will make it worse!?  

I found out that on most of my post surgery issues, its the second.   I found out that I can push my physical body, like writing when it hurts so much, or doing something even if it makes me dizzy, but I CANT force myself mentally.  A few things I really cant physically either, but mentally, there is just no other way but to not go there. At all.  Last summer and fall, (2014) I started experiencing such severe confusion and disoriented moments, that sometimes, I didn't know where I was and simply could not "think". Like my brain was fried.  Well, it probably was!!  I put myself in some pretty scary and dangerous situation. Like being lost in a very bad neighborhood, with my phone dead, without money, almost out of gas.  Not fun!   I was pushing myself to service other people, on very little sleep, and just push so hard, all day, and for days sometimes. It brought on a lot of stress, wheither I felt it or not, and created a very vicious cycle of self destruction. Thing is, I felt fine. I felt physically fine, but by the time my brain was paying the price, it was too late. It was absolutely horrible.

I found out that what i was then experiencing was bouts of "dementia".  My screwed up brain(literally, i can feel those screws haha)  just can't take that much, and part of it just become very slow, foggy, or shut down.  You also lose judgment, the ability to really make decisions. Its like you are a puppet. You are there, you can move, but you have no brain.    Dementia is not a disease, its a symptoms.  We are also pretty ignorant about dementia.  When I used to hear that word in the past, I thought "Oh crazy people who do crazy things"  Well let me tell you something.  Its not "crazy people", Its normal people, like you and me, and its not their fault!   Here is the real definition:

Dementia is a loss of mental ability severe enough to interfere with normal activities or daily living, not present since birth, and not associated with a loss or alteration of consciousness. 

Full blown dementia, in order to be "diagnosed" with it, needs to be constant for 6 months or more.  Some illness will end up with dementia, like Alzheimer, and did you know that we "all" will experience dementia in our last moment on earth?  Its the shut down of our mental abilities.  I DONT have dementia, I just experience a loss of mental ability without losing consciousness when I put myself, or someone or something else put me, in situations that are too much for my "new" brain to handle.  It is like having a short episode of dementia until my brain can recover.  I just call it "having moments". Its sounds better.  My moments were, and can still be, triggered by my brain getting into shut down mode, because the truth is, its weak, it does not work normally, never will again, and I have to learn to recognize what it can, and can't do.  For me, I realized that lack of sleep, or really 7 hours or less of sleep a night, is a killer. It literally is a killer.   My brain just cannot function.  I cant think. Everything is a fog. I forget how to drive, I am just in a big blur that just escalate. Stress will also do that to me.  Not enough sleep, and stress, will do that. The stress does not have to be stress as we know it, it can just be being in a noisy environment, lots of noise and lots happening. I truly am learning to listen and recognize the triggers.  I still get those moments sometimes... because life is life and sometimes, unfortunate things happen and you cant control what is around you.  But nothing no where to what I experience last summer.  I am actually pretty lucky nothing happened. I remember driving on the highway and all over sudden I got so confused that I almost stopped my car in the middle of the highway so I could just walk out and get some air.  I am not sure that would of end up well. Last year, an old man was thought to have commit suicide because he walked onto traffic on the highway. His family insisted that he would not kill himself, and I believe them. It has never been that bad again, but I have many days where I feel very "foggy" and "off". These days, I just do very little, physically and mentally... like a puppet... with half a brain. :)

I HAVE to learn to avoid as many triggers as I can, because believe me, it is very scary, and depressing, and awful, to all over sudden feel so lost and confused. I often feel like I am a prisoner in my own mind.  There is so much I want to do, that I "think" i could do, yet, I cant. It's not that my mind automatically tell me "No don't do that", its that I purposely have to avoid certain situations because I know that my mind will shut down on me. I also cannot spend too much time reading something, or focusing very hard on something, to learn or understand, or process information. Too much will completely blur my mind.  My mind just literally shuts down. So yes, I feel like a prisoner. BUT I am really beginning to not only accept it, but not feel guilty about it.  I know that the people who truly love me, want me to take care of myself. They will not ask me to do this or that for them, because as simple as some tasks are, every little thing require for me to remember this, focus on that, drive here, go there...

In order for me to truly understand what my limits are for my own sake and the sake of people around me, I truly had to learn to be completely transparent, completely honest, starting with being honest with myself. I was always "honest", but I never really learned, or allowed myself, to be honest with myself.  I always gave, and did, as I thought of others wanted. Because I love people. I love to make people happy. But I know now that if I didnt know how to be honest with myself, I could not be completely honest with others, even if I thought I was.  Nothing was on purpose, it just was as it was.  I have gained a confidence of knowing who I am, allow myself to be imperfect, allow myself to have flaws. I dont have to be perfect to make people happy. Nobody ever asked me to be perfect for them. I just thought I had to be!  Its ironic, because if there is someone that always appreciated other people's flaws, the authenticity  that comes with it, it is me!!  I didnt realize I was  lacking of that transparency even tho I was always nothing but myself, and never afraid to show all sides, and admit flaws... somehow, something was lacking that I believe I have now found.    Its good to be flawed.  Let's all be flawed :)  hahaha

I am blessed to have friends that understands. I am blessed to have very low maintenance friends whom I dont have to hang out with, do things with, do things for, for them to know that I am there for them always!  And I am blessed to be confident enough that if someone is not happy with the new me, they can just kiss my.... my nose? ah!

So all this said, I am not depressed that often about my "new life".  I do get moment that i feel a bit worthless, that i feel so "weak"...
But I have learned that it is completely okay to know my limitations, and live according to them. After all, you don't want me having "moments', do you? hahaha

Life is as beautiful as you make it, and that's what I choose, to make it beautiful. The only expectations that I have are to better myself, the best I can. No dead line, no hurry, no limits, but also, no expectations. Lots of hope, but the kind of hope that appreciate whatever there is.

So, I accept what is, and I hope for what will be :)