What am I doing and why?
A friend posed that set of questions to me Monday morning in a Facebook comment to Alternatively that I had posted right at deadline the night before. Simply questions that I have asked myself continually it seems for the last decade or so, give or take.
Walk into a room, open the fridge, sometimes just opening the toolbox I’d been looking for will cause a moment of amnesia. Well, I wish it was just a moment. Sometimes, the symptoms persist. Walk out of the room, close the door, put the box back on the shelf. Usually about the time I sit back down, I’ll remember.
I checked at it has been just over forty days since I left Michigan, my second longest absence ever. The current longest was of course my trip last year to go skydiving with my youngest son. That trip was extended from the original plan (ha, shortest synopsis yet,) yet altogether I was in Florida from December twenty eighth twenty twenty-one until February fourteen twenty twenty-two.
[Editors note: There was a whole list of things I was going to do after Florida. First? An emergency passport to join my friend Patrick for his birthday. How much different could twenty twenty two had been? There was a whole list of things to do, things I was doing, projects, tasks, personal, professional, and political. Yet, instead I took a four day dirt nap and here we are.]
This time I left on December twenty third. Six weeks today. Milestone? Nah. A milestone was yesterday.
One year since I used my brain to move my toe. I just had to look at it for three weeks. I had to convince myself that the two objects were connected and both under my full control. I could do if I thought hard enough about it. I could do it if it was prayed about enough. I could do it if I wanted it enough. Want. I wanted it so bad I would look at it and talk to it. I would dominate and demand that it move under my command. I would plead with it, would it move just a little.
Much more could be said about thought and want. To want, to desire a choice you’ve choosen in preference to a choice you did not choose. To want, implies desire, which of course implies love. To think and to love, and my toe moved last year. I was pretty happy. For those three weeks I did not forget what I was doing or why.
I was trying to move my toe because I wanted to move my toe. I did other things too, or I also tried to do other things, yet that was the thing I’d been working on. In the year since, it’s been- and I’ll say this now because I do think it is funny to me now, yet to be clear it is NOT FUNNY to say to a person in a bed or a chair who cannot currently walk- one step in front of the other. One thing I wanted, done, next item up on list? Pooping had been crossed off the previous week, I think my sit/dress/transfer to chair solo trick was my next big want, yet, I digress.
What am I doing and why?
I am writing this post so that I will be able to read it in the morning and remember what I am doing and why. I damn near died a year ago and some, maybe ought should have; maybe I did and this is all but a dream, yet I digress; again. At some of the worst points of the year, these posts, seldom then, meant sometimes so much to me. Hope to keep living that day. Some days were bad. I have never felt pain of that degree and of that degree of totality in isolation from hope from relief.
I some point (note: I should make a list?) I should add those first messages I managed to type to the doctor. It was hard to collect myself and use my phone in May. Okay, not I am getting distracted. What am I doing and why? Leaving milestones so that I can see where I’ve been.
No matter the depth of pain and despair, that I experienced at least, caused me to forget the passage of time; as it haunted me too. Time increased hunger and the need to urinate. Time decreased the amount of drugs in my system. Time reminded of how bad and how long that pain had been with me. Forever. And time reminded me how long the pain and despair would be with me too: Forever.
Yet, Time lied. I would read my last posts, and remember (most times, and if not, read more previous posts) that I was better than ‘then’. Despite every piece of information to the contrary, my (then, we’re in flashback mode here) pain and suffering that was beyond all measure and ability for me to endure, was actually so much better than what I had been through months previous.
Time lies, and milestones give perspective. Yet they have a shortcoming too, also the reason we know and see them so well: they occur in the past. Yes, milestones may be planned for this project or that, yet I mean the milestones that occur in your life. The biggest I think just ‘kinda happen’, ‘had to be there’, or ‘took a wrong turn’. Small events or chance encounters.
Commitment that is another reason. Who doesn’t have a problem with that? What would I time on my way to Michigan? I don’t want to know. Would I lie to myself in some false belief that I had no other choice? These words commit me daily to moving forward.
Hmm, the list, a list, the take off list.. I need a simpler list in addition to this simpler place to do it in.
Want someplace I can focus, someplace I can have an empty list, and type without the rush I have right now. Eleven thirteen.
I should mention, I thought of it last night yet repeated it today just to make sure (Wayne’s rule, long story,) I skipped my meds. My two days in a row. I thought my leg felt sore and stiff from the wet and the cold and the sleeping in the car. It did. It is also six doses behind on muscle relaxers. The stiffness in the mornings have been worse, and I have to really try to walk it off quicker (or maybe this is the cold?) yet once it warmed up?
Ha, another what and why? I think these are also the notes I supposed to be keeping, I would say ‘for the doctors’ yet they’ve made no such request. For myself, for my own future notes to look back and say “There, February Third, that was the second, or surely the first day I didn’t take them.” Now I’ll know.
I do not think I’ll take the muscle relaxers again. The baclofen helped with the spasms, kinda, yet not all the way. The Robo something I have now was better than the baclofec, other than the spasms and I can’t even remember the one I was on before that. So many drugs.
I had to read my words from last week where I said “I like me better on drugs”. That was harsh, me then, and me having to read it now. (Paraphrased actually, I didn’t have to go back and look to quote it, I remembered it.) I figured if I was going on a drug holiday, I had to go all in, so no Vyvanse or Duloxetine either.. well, I kept up my THC content with the new cake vapes I’ve found.
Once it warmed up I was determined to fight for my right to smoke pot and prove I could be as productive as me on Vyvanse while high and dry. The first time I conjured this thought I laughed at the ease of such an undertaking. I thought, I’m high, I should make a list so I don’t forget what I’m doing. And spent twenty minutes looking for pen and paper then the pen again (it moved.) Added one item to list: not mobile.
Biggest problem, I was not mobile. Dead battery, everything off in car (not master switch off) no key in ignition, woke up this morning, no start, eight volts measurement! Flipped the new master switch (master off = one amp charger from lithiums on) and it began charging. Contemplated waiting three hours for it to charge, smoked some, vaped some. Looked at the list, it wasn’t crossed off, yet I was done doing it.
Started on the blinker switch. Checked fuses again (did this the first time when wipers went out.) Took apart skin of steering column and replaced the switch and snapped it back together. Hit the vape, I was doing good. Flipped the master on. No wipers.
Hit the vape, looked at the list. It was warm and sunny in the car. The windows were still up, as I couldn’t power them. Duh. Hit the vape. Would rather have flower, yet.. New Mexico. Looked at the paper, remembered I was racing Vyvanse versus pot.
Checked the fuses, fourth time. Found a bad fuse. Hit the vape. Looked for the needle nose pliers. Hit the vape. Sat back down in the only position I can find to reach the fuses. Again, for the fifth time. Got up to find the replacement fuse. Hit the vape.
Wipers work now. I have an original working when pulled mustang switch on the dash. I crossed it off the list and hit the vape.
Decided I wanted to do something fun, and looked at my mess of wires, yet one by one, each thing was under (or over) on another thing. Not actually (always) yet in task. I could connect the digipeater up to the dash screen, yet I’d have to wire its power back into the back fusebox, one item after another. Weren’t these all on my list before? Ha, I need to work on my list (keeping?) skills. Hit the vape one more time for good measure, then went to work. It all started somewhere.
Traced it all back down to one radio. The digipeaters FT-2980. It had been on the dash, yet it’s heavy and falls. It has been all over, so I ordered a dash mount for it a while ago, which came. Without screws. If I could do that one thing, everything else could fall in place. So I did. I went to the hardware store (and stopped at the gate to pick up packages) for four screws. One dollar twenty nine cents.
Mounted the radio, wired it in the new wire loom, mounted a few other wires, untangling each as I went. Oh, and I hit the vape too.
And nothing works yet, yet it all is starting to look nice.
What am I doing and why.
I’m trying to live my live one day at a time because this could be my last.
Because I believe that each day matters, if this is it, my final goodnight, this was a good day. Four screws, blinker switch installed, radio mounted, serious wire spaghetti monster half slayed, ate breakfast, half a (small) banana bread loaf mid morning. Salad for lunch. Number seven at McDonalds large with a sprite for lunch two. Two New York strips for dinner, with more of the potato salad from the tub.
No Vyvanse, a little pot, and I still ate well and maintained productivity. Insurance should pay for pot.
Not the story I thought I was gonna tell when I first sat down to type.
In my darkest moments, I was lead forth.. and I’m following.
Time to rest.