When I first hit my head, I didn’t think it was possible that I had a concussion. I went right back to work. After I had been diagnosed with a concussion, I didn’t think it was possible that I’d broken my skull. I went back to work a week later and thought I’d be better within a month. Now that I know that my skull was fractured, and that it could be months before I’m back to normal, I am beset by feelings of frustration and sadness.
Mostly I’m disappointed in myself; I’m managing to keep normal people hours, but I’m still sleeping nine or ten hours a day, which is nearly double my usual five to six hours. I feel as though the time spent sleeping is wasted time, as though it’s indulgent and the time could be better spent actually accomplishing something. The fact of the matter is, though, that by the end of the day, I’m so sleepy that I can hardly keep myself awake. In the morning, when I used to jump out of bed right away, I hit the snooze alarm two or three times. I remember being up for sunrise pretty regularly. I even remember scheduling sunrise walks to the bay to watch the herons fish. I went out with friends (sober, on account of the symptoms I’m still having) last weekend, and when I used to be able to stay up until four in the morning, I was yawning by one thirty and crawling gratefully into bed by three.
It’s more than just the sleeping, though. I came home from work tonight and was without the mental energy to do anything. Television was out of the question… video games required too much concentration… even a podcast was too jangly and noisy to be tolerated. I struggled to work on my novel last night, and it took an hour of agonizing effort just to put a hundred words down. And the crazy thing is, I knew exactly what I wanted to write that day. I just couldn’t organize it enough to turn it into words. It spun around in my head, crystal clear and sequential and perfect, and I couldn’t capture it. I just couldn’t… for reasons that I, of course, still don’t understand.
I’m absent-minded, and I still struggle for the right words when I’m talking to people, especially on my bad days. I have a hard time finishing tasks, even simple household chores. I just kind of get distracted and then forget that I was working on something. I can’t listen to music while I’m doing things, because it’s too distracting. It either pulls me out of the work I’m doing, or I become so annoyed and frustrated by it that I have to turn it off. The loss of music pains me.
So I came home from work tonight, and I just couldn’t do anything. No television, no podcasts… nothing. It was like I got through the door and had to shut out all the noise and lights and movement and demands and jangling chaos. I fed the cats and just sat around in a dark, silent apartment. Reading something as simple and short as a news article was a struggle that I eventually gave up on, leaning my head back and closing my eyes for the relief of not having to look at anything. So I just sat. Normally this would be unbearably dull for me, but I didn’t feel bored. I just felt sad and empty. People all around me are busy accomplishing things; my friends are all working on their own pursuits, and when they’re not, they’re out doing something fun. And I was sitting in a dark, quiet house. It’s isolating, and it makes me feel lazy. Since fat people already labor under the lazy slob stereotype, well… it doesn’t feel great. Not all days are as bad as today, but all told I’m barely managing to put in time at my part time job, feed the cats, feed myself, and look for work.
I had always thought the one good thing about having this much free time available to me was the opportunity to follow creative pursuits. I have several projects going right now, and I honestly haven’t gotten much done since the beginning of November apart from this blog and a handful of drawings. The house is a mess and all I’ve been able to do is just keep it from getting any worse. My bills are getting paid, sort of, and I’m not at all going hungry, but I feel incapable of handling even the basic parts of keeping a life together. And it’s not just laziness or procrastination, even though it feels like it is, because I don’t even have the capacity to handle the fun stuff. A lot of the time it just feels like I’m counting the hours until I can go to bed without seeming like a very old person, and I don’t remember doing that since I was an angry and whiny teenager.
I mean, what good am I if I’m not doing anything? If I’m just sitting around taking up space?
Not all of my days are like this. I have some days when I’m clear as a bell, and some days when you can hardly tell. It’s a subtle difference… it’s not something that you would notice if you talked to me. I would seem normal; though I might stumble over my words a bit, it wouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary. There are days, though, when it is an earth-shattering difference to me. Like the difference between being an adult and a child.
I tell myself that tomorrow will be better, and most times it is. But I feel lonely and worthless a lot of the time, and I think it’s starting to wear me down. Apparently it could take another four months to heal… with gradual improvement within that time.
Two more hours until I can go to bed.