Too Many Things

I am starting to wonder if it is possible for me to really have a “normal” life. Things are so much better than before and my meds are finally working again, but even though I can do so many more things now, I am realizing that my limits and tolerance are still pretty low.

Things that have been very hard or impossible to do for the past year:

  • Reading
  • Working
  • Doing martial arts
  • Leaving the house
  • Playing warcrack
  • Being around people
  • Traveling

Almost all of those things are easier now, but I still can’t do that many of them without getting overwhelmed. When I get overwhelmed, I can’t think and when I can’t think, I am back to not being able to do anything anymore. It is occurring to me that this will not change. I am not sure why I keep thinking that it will. Things have always been this way as long as I can remember, no matter what meds I am taking and how well they are working.

The things that are hardest sometimes change from one med to the next, but there is never a time when I can really do things like other people can. It can be argued that there are things that I can do better than a lot of people can and I am very lucky for that, but no matter how much I have learned to appreciate my ‘different’ brain, there is still a part of me that is very jealous of how easy it is for most people to do things that completely wear me out or that I can not do at all. I wish I didn’t feel like that, but it is hard not to.

I wish I could be around people without getting confused and exhausted trying to figure out what to do, what to say, when to say it, all while paying attention to and remembering what is going on around me and what everyone else is saying, and how everything everyone is saying relates to the things that other people are saying. People do this every minute of every day as though it was not complicated at all. I don’t understand. I can’t understand. I hate not understanding.

I want to work. I have to work because we need money. We have a house and 4 cats and I have an expensive computer habit to pay for. I love what I do, but don’t even have any idea if I am making money, losing money, or breaking even. I want to do martial arts, but am still finding it too hard to be around people doing something so intense. I keep trying to think of other ways and places to do it, but I can’t think of a way to do it without other people. I wish it was like in the old days where some kind Sensei would take me under their wing and I would wash their car for them. Mr. Miyagi, where are you?

If I work all day, or even worse, try to work all day and don’t get anything done, then I can’t even get out of the house. If I don’t get out of the house, I can’t think. If I can’t think, I can’t do anything. It is a vicious cycle that repeats forever in some form or other.

Lately, there are so many things going on and it is getting harder and harder to do any of them. It is not the meds this time. It is just my brain being itself. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to have less things. There are work things and house things and cat things and travel things and people things and non-work website things and computer things and all of the other random things that seem to pop up every day.

I can work, but it is very hard to concentrate. I have been able to read a little. I have been able to get out of the house much better, but it has been getting harder and harder as there are more and more things. I get too confused. I can’t do anything in the house and can’t leave it. Sucks.

It is not all bad. One very fun thing has been teaching Karen to play warcrack. She is on a 10 day trial account and we have been wandering Azeroth together as a gnome mage (K) and a dwarf rogue (me). I think we are level 7. It is fun to play with K. Today she sent me a funny description of how she described what playing is like to a friend of hers:

“I draw the enemies out by frostballing them, then I fireball them while Lori is stabbing them and then she beats them to death.”

Good clean fun 🙂

5 thoughts on “Too Many Things”

  1. kinda heartbreaking post, and no i’m not gonna proselytize, talk about how “every cloud has a silver lining”, cuz frankly someone saying that to me bugs the hell out of me, and i think it’s delusional thinking anyway. the glass is neither half full or half empty; it’s just water molecules caught in a container, and then you standing, staring at it, trying to think deep philosophical thoughts about it.

    does suck, your status. my only 3 thoughts:

    1) have you considered medication to help you focus? this is something i have a ton of problems with, being able to focus, concentrate, and have often wondered if a medication would help, but i do so badly with medication/side effects, i’m not even gonna try. and i’m not sure you’d want to overload your body with yet more meds.

    2) have you considered taking your powerbook outside the house to work? if i’m stuck in my house, trying to work, sometimes i get trapped, and can’t focus at all. but if i find i took my laptop somewhere, to a cafe or bar, it’d somehow enable me to focus, at least for an hour or two. this helped me get thru my nanowrimo attempts, and for freelance work as well.

    3) given this is related to executive function, i know it really sucks, and you’ve tried so many options, project management stuff, but it’s still possible that your mind is bogged down with so much admin stuff that your overloaded mind cant’ deal with the stuff you’re good at, geeking out with web tech stuff. the world is vast, and there’s possible there’s a project management solution that exists, one you simply haven’t found yet.

    in any case, i do appreciate, given everything, that you were able to sit with me on saturday for an hour in an air-conditioned car in a berkeley metered parking space and chat with no sign of visible overload. =)

  2. All I know that every day, every minute, you are doing your very best. I know that doesn’t really help or change the situation but I hope it helps remind you that given everything you have to deal with, you are an amazing person. You have grown and changed so much since I’ve known you, in ways you never thought possible. It doesn’t make it better necessarily because it doesn’t help you concentrate or be less confused or get out of the house or figure out how you can work in the best possible way. I just hope that sometimes when you look at your situation you can see how much you have pushed yourself way past your limitations. Things tend to go in phases – maybe you are in a “stuck” phase right now on many levels – it’s happened in the past and I have every reason to believe you will get unstuck at some point. All you can do is what you’re doing – the best you can. Plus you have a teammate who will never let you bear the burden of your “different brain” alone – and who will shoot frostballs while you beat the bastards to death 🙂

  3. Bah, didn’t care reading.

    Now that I’m finally getting homework done by setting a routine for it I am very happy with the progress that I’ve made. I don’t think you should compare yourself to others.

  4. I think it is a trade-off. Things we can handle as kids get harder as we get older, yet we get better at handling situations that would have led to a meltdown when we were younger.


Leave a Comment