Allow The Chief to pull his Stradivarius from behind the toilet paper and bathroom cleaning supplies and attempt whole-heartedly to extract a bit of sympathy from you. This past Monday, October 21, I awoke feeling disoriented. I can’t explain it exactly, but I simply felt…weird. Yes, I realize you folks have come to expect that from me, especially since I’m a writer, and a troubled mindset is one of the drawbacks of the creative spirit.
I’ve encountered this sensation before – only once previously, though. But, on this past Monday, it felt more intense and painful. I kept feeling that anything and everything I did – no matter how small or mundane – wasn’t right. I couldn’t open a door in the right way. I couldn’t even pick up a piece of trash the right way. I mean, EVERYTHING I did wasn’t right.
I keep thinking it might be related to my allergies. The summer to fall transition is almost always the worst for me. But, every few years, I have a period like now, where it hits harder than freight train striking a vehicle stuck on the tracks. Simple over-the-counter and / or home-based remedies won’t help. I have to visit my family doctor and get some high-caliber, prescribed medicine. This year, he gave me three. Feeling tired and lethargic comes with the territory. I’ve always said my worst allergies follow the hurricane season in the Atlantic / Caribbean basin. And, this time around, the storm was a Category 5.
I’m pretty much over all that mess now. But…that overwhelming disoriented feeling. Is that related to my allergies and / or the prescribed medicines? I know some high-octane medicines have a myriad of potential side effects. In fact, reading the list of side effects – diarrhea, fatigue, nausea – makes me wonder if they’re worth the trouble. Let’s see, what do I prefer? A runny nose or a runny ass? Too many choices! Like trying to find a book to read while eating cereal.
Then again, are my years of frequent alcohol consumption finally coming back to haunt me, like the fact I never attended a high school dance? I consider myself a recovering alcoholic, but I still haven’t given it up permanently. Smoking, yes, but I can’t resist a good screwdriver or wine cooler! I just watch myself.
Perhaps, this is what life is like headed towards age 60 – meaning the seventh decade of my existence. As a youth, I recall my parents – mainly my mother – opining that life begins at 40. At that time, people, indeed, seemed to have reached the apex of happiness with family, career, etc. Now, I hear that 50 is the new 40. Medical advances have made it more likely people will live into their 80s and 90s. Thus, 50 really is becoming middle age for many Americans.
I just don’t know. But I feel friends and family are likely to scoff at me, if I mention aloud that I’m feeling incredibly disoriented. ‘So, what’s new?’ they might say. ‘Tell me something I DON’T know!’ Okay, okay! You don’t have to rub it in, like sandpaper mistaken for…well, toilet paper.
I’m only putting this out there – to this audience, my faithful followers – because I’m not really ashamed of it. It’s just frustrating and annoying. Okay, it pisses me off! It interferes with my daily activities. I can’t even work on my creative writing. That disoriented sensation blocks my artistic mind from producing anything. So, I just go to sleep.
As with the last time this happened, I realized I just needed to stop trying so hard to understand it and merely take a shower and plunge into my bed with its 10-year-old mattress. I’m curious to know, however, what you folks think. Has this happened to you and, if so, how did you deal with it? Remember, if you don’t take this seriously, we’ll hear about more drama from the British royal family!
Image: Gary Larson, “The Far Side”