Frayed Threads

This post originally appeared on my tinyletter, Where is my Mind?

I had a good weekend, mentally. I got stuck because of weather, as did my husband, trying to get back home to our kids. As I told him, the meds keep me from spiraling; there’s no cure for mom-worry. But I stayed chill. I enjoyed my extra night in a hotel room, read memoirs in preparation to write my own, generally felt good about life and possibilities.

I came home to no power, day 2 and 3. My son was surprisingly chill about the whole thing, especially given the fact that his precious electronics were out of power and he had to entertain himself (and his sister). We celebrated those small victories, and while all of our nerves were frayed by the time the power came on, it was a few days of…stability in a time of stress. Times and events that would have, in the past, left me weeping and shaking.

The medication is working. I have an appointment next week to talk about my meds and get my refills. And, finally, I can get tested for ADHD.

Because as good as this weekend was emotionally, today, I’m a mess trying to focus. I have writing deadlines, revisions, tasks, and the motivation to actually do them. And yet, I can’t. It’s taken me 30 minutes to get this far into this letter. I’m reading and I can’t hold the thread of thought in my head. Actually, the thread frays in a hundred different directions, and I can barely remember why I was reading what I was reading, let alone what it actually says.

I’m no longer distracted by my anxiety (although self-doubt still creeps in from time to time, largely in the form of, WHAT THE HELL AM I EVEN DOING). But my brain still distracts me constantly and continually. I can’t write. I can’t read. I can’t even finish this sentence.

Ok, I can barely finish that last sentence.

I’m clearly what would be considered “high-functioning” – I have a PhD, numerous academic publications, tons of blog posts and freelance writing projects I’ve completed. I’ve relatively effectively maintained a career. And yet, I’ve almost always known that my brain, my way of processing information, my work-flow, my habits, my approach, was very, very different from most peoples. I try to be as normal as possible for as long as possible, and then I crash. The thread unravels and frays.

I don’t even know anymore what would make it better, easier. But maybe just knowing that there’s a reason for my inability to focus most days will make it easier not to beat myself up for being stuck in my own head so much that I lose myself in there.

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