”All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.” ~Buddha
It's that time of year. The planes start flying and all thoughts turn to dead birds and for what you're grateful. I don't do my family Thanksgiving, but I still get together with a group of friends and muse about how lucky we are to live in an environment that's relatively undamaged (since we're exporting our ecological damage to China) and where most of us have jobs (that pay next to nothing and provide only minimal benefits). And while I cling to Joan, who's the most important person in the world and for whom I'm eternally grateful, I have to tell you that I reached a new nadir in my fabulous career as a paralegal. I'm afraid that not only are things not getting better, they're getting worse instead.
Yes, I've been taking my meds. Yes, I'm seeing my doc again on Monday. He says to trust him, which I do. But if I were anyone else I'd have thrown up my hands in despair by now and taken a job herding cats, or maybe artificially inseminating rhinoceri. I wanna pound my head against the wall, I wanna shake myself and say, "What the hell is wrong with you?" More important than that, I just want this whole thing to be fixed. It's a damn good thing I'm a Buddhist, because if I were any other faith I'd have missed the part where Buddha said, "Don't trust your brain. It will lie to you." (Or words to that effect.)
Losing control over your own brain is terrifying. Terrifying and frustrating. Two years ago I was one of the star performers at the firm. What was different between now and then? I go over and over this. Over and over this. I haven't figured it out yet and I feel like I'm running out of time. But I keep trying. I'm seeing this guy (a psychologist, not a paramour--sorry, I'm really not all that salacious) who's helped me come up with strategies so I won't get behind and manage distractions better. The second I get to work I strap a notebook to myself (it's on a passkey tether) and put a pen in my pocket so I can write down anything and everything that comes up. I'm even using Evernote, though I probably could be using it better. And I have rules for when to do what, and a chime that rings every hour to remind me to stay in the moment. I hang around after hours and sneak in when we're closed to catch things up.
And I don't wanna give up. Well, some days I do, because something else has gone wrong and I'm tearing my hair out and wanting to scream because what in hell was I thinking and I can't remember and more important, can't understand (or, for that matter, make myself understood). But usually I wanna keep working until they pry the keyboard from my cold pre-retirement fingers. I wanted to be this particular lawyer's last-ever paralegal, work for him until he decided to retire and then retire myself because there wouldn't be any point in continuing without him. I think he's going places. I think he will do great things. I think he deserves the best support possible. I gave him that two years ago. I feel like I can give him that again. But when? How about now? Is now good? Hello? Universe?
Oh, and I got into a car wreck (!). On the way home, somebody rear-ended me on the freeway. It was just a stupid accident. But I gotta tell ya. This is, I think, my fifth collision and still, that incredibly loud bang has been following me around and giving me the creeps for a day and a half. I was in a Really Bad Collision thirteen years ago (in the same car, no less), where a guy ran a stop sign right in front of me and I T-boned him. I had nightmares and flashbacks to the collision for about six weeks. Well, Jesus God, I could have killed the guy. I managed to crank the wheel hard enough that I kind of slid into him sideways instead of hitting him head-on, which kind of broke up the force of the collision, as it were, and distributed it over more of the car. So we both lived. Anyway, this morning I had a crystal-clear flashback to that wreck (I still remember it, like a movie) and the sound of the brakes and the incredibly loud bang. And I'm like, now? Really? I need this now?
(See previous blog post.)
Anyway. You can't trust your brain. It will lie to you. This is not a collision from 13 years ago, this is a minor fender-bender on the freeway, the kind that happens every damn day all over Dallas. I am not hopelessly incompetent, I am just having a very hard time at work for some reason. It's not my brain deteriorating past the point of usefulness, it's just the drugs, and we'll get the combination right and everything will be fine. So that's my pre-Thanksgiving complaint. And I'm not grateful. I'm just stubborn.
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody, and try to be more grateful than I. Because right now I suck at it.