I have some Sunday, pre-wine, mid-migraine thoughts.
For months now I’ve been battling pretty severe concussion symptoms. So much so, I have a follow-up appointment with my neurologist on Wednesday to see if I’ve done more damage than we initially thought I did. Best case scenario, he’ll tell me that I’ve just been working too hard and need to take more time off.
My fear for this, though, is that “more time” means more than just taking a mid-afternoon nap and a day or two off a week.
If you’ve followed my tweets at all you’ll know that my brain injury has actually made me a better editor (I feel). My edit letters have doubled in size because I can see every inconsistency, ever unfinished plot line, every little thing that could possibly be a problem in relation to the big picture of your manuscript. And that’s not to say I couldn’t do that before — I just wasn’t able to do this to this degree. Who knows, maybe my driveway is actually radioactive and now I have editing super powers. Or maybe the part of my brain that filled me with heavy anxiety and doubt (and the need to go soft on my clients) disappeared.
The real problem is simple tasks.
I had a breakdown Friday morning, not just because I had no idea that it was Friday (I thought it was Monday), but because I went to put a hutch together for the kitchen. I looked at the directions and could not comprehend what they were saying. And this wasn’t some crazy Ikea hutch, this was something simple from Target that even had all the pieces you need to put the thing together sectioned off. So I have to depend on my husband to put that together for me, which is not optimal. I mean, the guy works crazy hours at a high-stress job. Plus I don’t like working on other people’s timelines. I hate it. I like doing things when I want to, and not when the person I have to depend on gets around to doing it.
(On the flip side of that, I hate keeping people waiting. This has been a struggle for me as I lengthen my turnaround times for editing clients. I liked being able to get through manuscripts in a week or two and moving onto the next. Having to take more time adds a new weight of guilt to my shoulders that I’m really struggling on how to deal with.)
The reality of my situation is that I really don’t know what’s going on with me. I can’t read directions, recipes, homework assignments. I can edit like crazy and write new words. I don’t remember what day it is, or month sometimes. My long term and short term memory has become scrambled. Who knows, maybe my brain has re-organized itself to put energy and gray matter towards what’s important in my life right now. Or maybe this will just be my new standard. Which isn’t terrible. It could be worse. I keep telling myself that these deficiencies aren’t the end of the world, even if they feel like the end of my world.