My dad asked why I haven’t finished my disability application yet and I explained that it asked for the date I became disabled, and I don’t know how to answer that question, and also I am finding it nearly impossible to force myself to finish simple daily activities like putting away clean laundry, so the online application form looks like Mount Kilimanjaro from here.
He wanted to know if it’s hard emotionally or physically and I explained that sometimes it’s one and sometimes the other but usually it’s both and the medication that takes away my pain also takes my memory and fuck *that* choice.
I said I still think of myself as an honor student, and he said something about living vicariously through my past success, which isn’t really what I meant, but I know he’s kind of sad about the same thing I am, which is that I am actually sick, and won’t be as awesome as we had all planned.
It’s hard to say when this all started. Summer of 1992 when I found a lump in my neck that turned out to be an enlarged lymph node that turned out to be Lyme Disease? Two years later when I overdosed on tylenol? Or six months before that when I stopped talking, period? Winter of 1998 when I went to Paris and addled my brain on dexedrine? September 11, 2001 when I entered a really dark downward spiral that I still can’t explain? October 31, 2003 when I lost everything in a fire? January 2004 when my beloved Rabbit was lost? Or later that same year when my grandfather died, and then my cousin was killed in a car accident, and then my stepfather had a massive stroke and heart attack on the operating table and my mom had to turn off the machines, and I couldn’t even be there because they were in Florida? Or a couple of months later when I suddenly found myself homeless in NYC when the guy I was living with threw me out of our apartment, and I spent a few weeks riding the MTA trains all night, because I didn’t know where else to go?
Or maybe it happened when I was 8. Or maybe it’s the late term abortion I had at 17. Or maybe it was last year’s Halloween blizzard that somehow flipped a switch in my brain, you know, the bleak switch.
I don’t know. I really don’t.
I always always thought that if everything else failed, I could depend on my brain, not the emotional part maybe, but the smart part always. I was wrong and I am dealing with this, but I suddenly realize I have no idea who I am. None.
My dad also said that he’s sure I can still be creative and successful somehow. And maybe he’s right, but I can’t even think about that right now because I’m mourning my broken brain.