What it’s like to be me this weekend

It’s Halloween weekend. I’m writing this Sunday night, the night of the trick or treaters.

Friday

Friday was an off day, meaning no program in the morning and no appointments. Which is actually a rarity. I got up late-ish. Vertigo at a 4/10, sometimes rising to 7/10. Mind blurry in the morning but clearing by afternoon. Attitude was bright, but felt like I was moving through mud. Exhausted by the time I got downstairs. Had a few goals for the day but thought I might tidy up the chair and area I frequent in the living room. I took everything off my table, and the piles of books off the radiator and put it all on the dining room table. Sorting it was easy, but I thought I could go further. So I opened the Drawer Of My Stuff in the sideboard and sorted all of that onto the table. Then I went to the cabinet underneath the drawer. Then the bookcases full of craft and electronics stuff in the front hall.

By the time I had it all sorted I’d done organizing for three major areas of the main floor of the house. Wasn’t even on my to-do list, but huge progress in the de-chaosing of my life. I went through everything once it was sorted and threw out almost half of it all.

I put much of it away in the places it had come from, but in an organized manner. Found places for everything else and ended up with two small piles to go up to my office. And a very full trash bag. Wife was happy to see the piles of sorted stuff, but was shocked to see it all put away within an hour! So that was productive. And exhausting.

Showered again, starting exhausted and making me more so. Wife says she can guess fairly well how my day is going by the length of my showers. Bad days mean zoning out under the warm water, or like that day – when I forgot to wash everything but my arms. Figured out something was wrong before I got out, and had to start all over again because I couldn’t remember what I had missed. And then spent some more time zoned out, staring at the shampoo bottles.

By this point I was toast. So I spent some time at the tv working on the laptop.

Wife was going biking with the neighbor but the neighbor’s tire was flat. So they decided to go check out some Halloween decorations at a few houses in town that had been mentioned on social media. We would drive to one, then walk a mile and a half to see more, then walk back. By the time we had finished the first half I was pretty tired. Could feel my tremor in my legs, felt them buckle once. Was actually sweating on the way back, and had to call upon my Marine Corps stubbornness to make it back to the car. But I made it. Guess how I felt afterwards. Exhausted.

By the time we got home my body was buzzing, like after a hard workout. My vertigo and balance get worse when I’m tired or stressed, and it was getting rough by this point. After a quick dinner we needed to go to the grocery store. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do that after all of the activity of the day, but it was a short list and I rallied. I use the cart as a walker and seldom go far from it if I can help it.

Saturday

We were having a casual, low impact gathering of friends Saturday night. I woke as I had Friday. Thick, wobbly, the usual exhaustion, and body sore from the previous day. But we had to decorate and clean before the party, so it was a full day of going up and down stairs, in and out of the house, etc. By the time we went out on errands to get some stuff for my costume, we were both running on fumes.

The party was good. A fair number of people showed up, and I drank almost a whole six pack of beer. (Just kidding, it was 0.0% alcohol beer, but really tastes good. A proper IPA.)

I put on my human face for the party, but began quite tired and shaky. Stood around a lot because if I sat down I might have fallen asleep. After a particularly anxiety producing chat with a party guest (no, it wasn’t you) I retreated to my office in the attic. Just time to sit, recompose, and enjoy a piece of pumpkin bar.

By the time I rejoined the party I was wondering how I was going to keep going for hours more. But I did have some great conversations with friends and that helped keep my mind off things. I took a PRN to help with the anxiety.

When I do socialize I feel very self conscious about my memory, missing words, and I absolutely know that there are little glitches in the conversations when I say something that doesn’t make sense because I’m muddled or didn’t hear something right. I can see it on their faces. And that’s a lot of work that adds to the ever present exhaustion.

By the time the night was over, I was too. But I was glad I wasn’t drunk, as that would have thrown me directly into the “pit.” My knees ached and my spine felt like it was about to disintegrate.

Sunday

Slept ridiculously late, woke feeling the way I had for the last two days, and then some. Most off my day was sitting on my laptop trying to figure out how to make a table of contents in WordPress. Again, felt bright but just totally broken physically. And there was a new wrinkle. I felt like I was going to burst out crying all day. Needless to say that was odd and a little disturbing.

The accumulation of the weekend was showing. Walking was hard with my shaking legs, standing up the the vertigo into overdrive and I couldn’t remember a thought for more than a minute. Much time was spent working out what I was doing. I won’t say I was hiding it all from Wife, but she had enough going on that I didn’t want to complain. I felt fundamentally broken. Physically and mentally. But most of my frustration is from wanting to do things but not feeling able to. Which is good, I guess. Wanting to do things, that is. We talk about my getting a job for the holidays and I have no idea how I could do that at this point. Too much wears me thin, and I always feel like I’m a moment from The Bad Anxiety.

The trick or treaters came as expected and Wife was a saint in handling it all. This is one of the nights I hate the most, as it is often a succession of strangers coming to our door. But she knows that and let me veg out. We watched a good scary movie to round out the night, and now I’m breaking one of my own rules by being on my phone and thinking past 11. Now midnight.

I think I figured out why Mondays are tough for me. An enjoyable but hard weekend. Unfortunately most days are like this and it’s frustrating to always feel like I’m using my last energy to do something. Something so far from normal.

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