Friday, June 06, 2008

I Just Want The Old Me Back

I have been so frustrated, despite my recent mood lift. You would think I would be happy that my mood has been consistently better for much of each day, but that is not the case.

As my mood remains better, my expectations of myself increase. I feel I should be able to do what I did when I was well; things like work, and read, and remember things, and not have difficulty doing simple tasks. I feel I should be fully functioning, now that I have felt better for a while, but that is not the case either.

I still cannot read. I used to be one to have 5-6 books on the go at any given time. I could leave a book for months and pick up where I left off, remembering the plot, characters and themes from what I had read previously. This seemed like a simple, everyday thing to me.

Now I pick up a book, read a chapter, and sometimes, even while reading that chapter get confused, because I cannot remember who is who, or what is going on. I often read and re-read the same paragraph or pages over again because I get lost and cannot figure out where I got off track.

If I read a chapter and put the book down for a couple days and then pick it up again I cannot remember what happened in the previous chapter/chapters, so I become disheartened and feel stupid and lose the desire to keep trying the book.

It is not just reading. I watch a movie, and a week later I cannot remember the most of the plot line. I remember I liked it, or hated it, but cannot remember what it was about. I have been taking blues guitar lessons. Years ago I played the guitar and all through grade school and high school I was a percussionist. I understand (or thought I did) rhythms. The first guitar lesson I got home to practice and I could not remember the simple blues shuffle pattern. I went to the next class and we practiced all class and then came home and again I could not remember the simple pattern. The third lesson I recorded it. True to form I came home and could not remember the pattern, but this time I had a reminder to help me.

I feel so stupid, when before I felt like I was very intelligent. It is like I have lost big chunks of memory, or ability to store memories, or ability to learn new things. I always thought when my mood lifted these would all come back to me.

Dr. X. and I discussed this today. He said part of the difficulties may be made worse by the way I am placing negative labels on what is happening. The more negatively I see myself, the more I live up to my own expectations (those are my words, not his...he was much more eloquent). For example, by calling these things "simple", and then seeing myself unable to do them, I become frustrated that I cannot do "simple" things.

He said the rehabilitation process can take a while and, like someone being rehabilitated to walk again, it can be very frustrating to not just be able to walk like you did before. I guess I thought when my mood was better I would magically become my old self; the self that never really had to try very hard to succeed at anything I tried.

5 comments:

Just For Jo said...

It was a comfort to read your post. I experience similar situtations. The fact that I don't work, like you, is making me the most frustrated. Not having enought money for things brings me down. How do you support yourself?

deepblue said...

I understand what you're going through, as that seems to be the stage I'm at, as well. I know I'm feeling better - but I'm still not well.
good luck with your "rehabilitation" process!

Coco said...

I hear you. And I always feel like people think I'm making excuses. It's very frustrating.

Aqua said...

Thanks for the comments. I really am so frustrated with this illness.

Hannah said...

I have been re-reading the first chapter of the same book for about a week now. It's so frustrating because I really want to read this book!