In light of my recent extensive conversation on another blog regarding the perils and benefits of good and evil, I have decided to keep my comment and thoughts about Mikey’s recent topic in my own space. This is not to avoid another conversation, but rather to avoid making the original post once again, all about me.
You see, Mikey’s recent topic hits a rather tender nerve. Especially at this point in time, when I’m having difficulty dividing my thoughts on other issues, because they, as they tend to do, have become over lapped and tangled, and I easily grow tired and weary and look for ways to shut my brain off, instead of sorting things out.
Mikey works at a Dementia care facility. And since I read Mikey’s blog faithfully, I’m faced with the idea of Dementia on more occasions than I’m truly comfortable with. Perhaps I’m just cosmically being set up for an epiphany, but at the moment I just see it as a head-on collision with my greatest fear in life. Losing my mind.
Mikey assures me, that if and when it happens, I will be blissfully unaware. To lose one’s mind in such a way is to be free of the knowledge that it has happened. His charges don’t realize they speak in “word salads” so neither will I. The patients under his compassionate care do not mind so much that they cannot recall what time the bus pulls in, so it won’t hurt me so much to forget my son’s name.
I already have clinically diagnosed mental issues, which I won’t elaborate on here, because I have spent a lifetime coming to grips and no longer consider them a topic for concern. They are not a burden, having developed ways to adapt, they are more of a tool for success.
Aside from that, it is not exactly the “loss” of my mind that I fear, but rather the impact on my reputation that makes me uneasy.
Let me explain
My whole life, I have been the person with all of the answers. I’ve been the solver of problems unseen. The go-to girl. In my world, I am the one with the logic, the one with the rational, yet fantastical mind. Drawing on brain function is my greatest talent, it’s the thing I’m most aware of, the thing I’m most thankful for, it’s my greatest tool, my state of mind is who I am. Using my brain, I have analysed events in my life, I have determined their value and purpose, and have brought on a state of complacency that makes me 100% happy with who I am. I am boxing clever. That is who I am. I no longer question my “purpose” in life, nor my worth, nor my value. I am who I am.
Losing my mind means I will no longer be this person. And that is what I fear. It’s not the difficulty I might have with forgetting my birthday. It’s the difficulty others might have, because I no longer have my wits about me. I will no longer be the person they know. The great Oz will be revealed as an aged woman behind a curtain. And that means I will no longer be myself. And that scares me. Mostly, because I put such great effort into figuring it all out in the first place.
While it’s true that I will not realize that I am no longer “myself”, others will. Chances are, they will look at me with sadness, or sympathy or compassion. They will say things like “Wow, that’s really too bad, she used to be smart as a whip, now she can’t even say her ABCs”
I know this because I already see it in the eyes of those around me. The eyes that scream alarm because I cannot remember what I made for dinner today, nevermind the fact that I no longer can recall important major events, from time to time. The look of shock on the souls who love me, when my answer is “I don’t know”. The red-faced embarrassment they feel when I’m introducing them and can’t recall who they are.
Am I making any sense?
Clinically, losing my mind in one capacity or another is almost an inevitability, some of those around me are already cracking the jokes to relieve the nervous tension of it all. But losing who I am?