(this entry was made before I knew that the problem was I had Grave’s Disease, and my thyroid was dying. It was also before I knew I was an HSP. Between those two, it explains all of it. These symptoms and reactions have been tempered over the last 5 years or so with coping skills)
A new phrase with echoes of old demons. Almost every difficulty I experience these days is directly related to some sort of cognitive dysfunction. I have multiple physical ailments, but the most overwhelming, the most debilitating, seems to be related to memory, concentration, and all the peripheral sub-routines that stem from it. Frustration is a major example of that. I am so disgusted and stressed by the betrayal of my own brain function. It’s as if I have had part of my brain matter removed, or that it is simply atrophied. To wit:
When I am doing something creative, i.e. painting or writing, I move into this “zone” that blocks all the stimuli. I become peaceful, meditative, and pleasant. When I put the creative project away, and have to deal with everyday stressors–bills, busy work, the prospect of moving, the desire to purchase a home, the irritants of other people, noise–I become almost maniacal in my reactions. I have angry outbursts, crying jags, and sometimes, at crescendo, the overwhelming desire to cut myself or mash a lit cigarette into my skin.
When the phone rings, I am flooded with dread. I’ll have to talk to someone. I’ll have to answer questions. I’ll have to deal with problem. I’ll have to feign understanding, pleasantries, interest.
I look up a number in the phone book, turn around to dial it, and the number evaporates from my short-term memory.
I forget when I did things, when I said things, what I did, what I said–even if the event only happened the day before.
I’ve developed aversions and intolerance to certain things. I can no longer stand the sound of silverware scraping a plate or bowl– I have to use plasticware. I am rendered psychopathic at the sound of incessantly barking dogs; shrieking birds; snoring; someone drumming their fingers; the chatter of a friend; the hum of florescent light bulbs; bright lights or sunshine; alarm clocks; those shouting announcers on car commercials; the decline in quality customer service; eating the same thing more than once; anyone controlling any part of my life; anyone asking anything of me…
I can be driving somewhere, and suddenly forget where I’m going. Many times, I’ve had to pull over and gather myself, struggle to remember…
I cannot focus on two things at once. If I am doing something on the computer, and someone is talking to me, I lose my train of thought. I can’t recall what I was doing.
I no longer remember my dreams.
I hear someone talking about something that they experienced in childhood, and I can’t recall very much about my own. When asked what my life was like when I was 10 or 15 or 20–I simply have no idea. Likewise, if asked to remember an event–even, sometimes, memorable ones, I can’t draw that information out.
I don’t visualize things, so that I can retrieve the visualization later. The memory seems disconnected. There seems to be no trigger. If I don’t write down my ideas or thoughts, they vaporize into mist.
I cannot find the right word, although I know it exists in the vocabulary portion of my brain, and so I just stop communicating.
It’s very much how I imagine an amnesiac would function (or not function). And I get so angry with myself; So angry with others for their lack of understanding. I often feel I am being singled out for torture by the Universe or the Powers That Be. I feel persecuted, abused, neglected… retarded. I often liken the function of my brain, with the function of my own computer. My brain thrashes, struggling to pull something from the hard drive, it crashes when too many applications are up at once, it’s buggy and inefficient. The operating system needs badly to be upgraded.