too young to feel so old part 2

thornsDidn’t know there was going to be a part 2? Funny, neither did I. But I was still thinking about this topic when I was trying to get ready for work this morning (which I did and am now sitting upright in the office, yay me).

What hurts the most is my pride. That’s probably obvious to anyone who knows me. It’s *embarrassing* to be so afflicted and appear to hide behind something that cannot be seen. It sounds ridiculous doesn’t it?  But I used to have a work ethic par excellence. If I had nothing else to my name, I could at least say I was a hard worker, a master of the multi-task, and the busy person you gave everything to because you knew it would get done (and right, the first time). Now I don’t have any of that.

Sure I’m still a hard worker (when I can be) and I like to believe I have maintained my integrity and reputation to be someone to count on to get the task done (you know, when I’m functional that is). Gah, have I mentioned yet how much I really hate this? Because I do.

Three years ago I was beginning to suffer the symptoms and trying to get the problem diagnosed (read: poked and prodded like cattle). I had just graduated with a BSIT/Software Engineering closing a chapter on jumping from college drop-out to college graduate (whee!). I was working full time (with healthy doses of overtime). I was going through a divorce, a refinance on my house, assisting my then-boyfriend with a custody battle, and watching my grandfather give up on life (who quit the battle July 8, 2010). I kind of had a lot going on. Not a to-do list of house projects I wanted to see done by the end of a weekend. We’re talking major life shit. All in about a month.  Whee?

I feel like I never recovered, like there was so much happening in such a small space of time that I’ve been playing catch up ever since. Or that I fried my capacitors, but there’s no replacing the motherboard and I’ll never be the same.

Now I have to take breaks, there’s no burning the candle at both ends and taking a long weekend once in awhile to recuperate. If I’m sick, I can’t push myself into the office to just get something done, I *have* to rest. Multi-tasking is no longer something I revel in because my mind can’t hold onto multiple things at once and I *just forget* tasks or seeing things through to completion if I’m interrupted for any reason (I’m told the memory malfunction is called “fibro fog”). When I make plans, I try to avoid piling more than one commitment into a single day. I say “No” a lot more than I’d like to (and sometimes after apprehensively saying “Yes” and then I have to eat humble pie which tastes nasty).

There is a bit of good in all this. My relationships with the people I choose to spend my time with are vastly improved. When I do make plans, they’re usually long evening or day plans and I’m not stuck worrying about what I have to do next. I can just enjoy the moment. I’ve also learned to task smarter, making lists with to-dos logically planned out so I can get the most bang for my now much more limited time. When I am able to focus on a single task, I’m able to analyze it’s parts and whole much better because my attention isn’t divided across so many little, unrelated bits.

My problem is that I’m still trying to fit into the old me that no longer exists, CAN no longer exist. I can’t work obscene hours sitting in front of a computer, I need to be more active and have more human interaction so that I’m not left consumed by my pain. I can’t do everything by myself, I have to ask for help. If I can’t do it or if help isn’t available, I have to put aside those things that aren’t critical to anything except my sense of control (which isn’t critical at all, if you didn’t see what I was getting at).

I am no longer what I was. I am only what I am.

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