Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Losing My Marbles...The Problem With My Brain

Not many people know about this, because I am ashamed when it happens and have not talked about it openly. Not many people know about this, but many people have been affected by it.

The effect of this problem ranges from frustrating to embarrassing to outright humiliating.

I have tried to do many things to combat this problem, but every time I think that I am finally getting on top of it, it happens again.

My brain short-circuits: I don't know how else to explain it. Actions, habits and behaviour that should be automatic are not remotely automatic - they simply aren't even on the radar. Things that are important to me get completely forgotten about with zero awareness that I've missed it until it's too late.

It's not just events that this happens with - it's dates about things, it's about things that I have been asked to do. It's sometimes about showering and grabbing the wrong thing, or not having a clue if I have just washed my hair.

And there's no warning. No niggling feeling. It's as if the information was never there.

So let me start by saying sorry - and asking for forgiveness. I know that if you've been impacted by this, I've hurt you, made you feel unimportant and it must seem as if I didn't care about you. Nothing could be further from the truth. I know that when I've dropped the ball because of this problem, it's left others scrambling to pick it up. That's why, when I forget, it's so shameful, embarrassing and humiliating for me.

Before you suggest it, I have scheduled, planned, written it down and done many other things that should help me to not forget, but if I don't put a follow up plan in place immediately, or some urgent thing comes up, it takes nothing for it to be gone from my mind.

It's a little bit scary that this could be the start of something serious - Alzheimer's, Dementia or some other form of brain decay or disease. I think about that. I wonder about that. But I also think that sometimes I just have more on my mind than my brain can handle.

It's true that I have a lot on my mind - but really, who doesn't? The problem (at least part of it) with my brain, is that if something urgent comes up - or something that I didn't plan for - it takes over and mutes the other part of my brain that runs in the background keeping track of what I need to do: the scheduler that normally runs automatically.

An image came to mind today that reminds me of what happens:

Perhaps my brain is like a small, flat, shelf, covered in felt with no edges above a deep, muddy pit, and the things that I have on my mind are like a bunch of marbles.

You can put a bunch of marbles on a level, small flat shelf. The problem is that when you dump more marbles onto the shelf eventually some will fall off. And sadly, it doesn't matter if they are important marbles or not, they simply get shoved out of the way, fall off and disappear soundlessly into the pit.

Then someone will remind me of this thing that I had to do, or event that I was supposed to take care of, or tell me about the conflict that I created. I begin by apologizing and then try to do what I can to make amends. But it's always a mess, like the marble retrieved all slimy and gross from the mud pit. Yes, at times, it seems as though I am losing my marbles.

Any imagery has it's weaknesses, but I hope that you get the idea.

I am not looking for sympathy, solutions or to try to place the blame somewhere else. The blame falls on me - I am the one accountable for my actions - or lack of actions.

This is just to say sorry if I have forgotten something important to you - a date, a task, an event or something else that has left you feeling like you were not important - you are very important to me. I am trying to clean the shelf and to clear off the less important marbles. I continue to strive to do better at scheduling and keeping on top of stuff.

In the mean time, I would appreciate your prayers, forgiveness and understanding.

You all mean the world to me.

In His service and yours,