A butterfly lands on your nose - YOU can shoo it away with your hand without a thought, and life goes on. Me - a butterfly landed on my nose three months ago, and I am still struggling to right myself from it, rocking and bumping and swaying, and the children down below shout, "Look, Mommy! It's the ghost of Elvis!" I am still rock-and-rolling in sheer terror, from things that happened days - weeks - months ago. It all compounds.
So, I've been thinking that this illness is only getting worse. It doesn't matter how, or where, I live - it doesn't matter what I want to believe or how I manage or treat it, my brain is degenerating and if I don't commit suicide I will die of a neurologically-induced heart attack soon enough. But I think that I would be better if I could simply BE in a new place, and waste the rest of my life not worrying about the future - just playing and imagining and relaxing and creating, because these things are motivators for my health. Lately, all I've been doing is concerning myself with the future, and it has been completely destroying my health. Why? Because I am forced to used the two infected areas of my brain, my amygdala and my ventromedial prefrontal cortex. So, if I can make it to the promised land, I'll give it a chance, and maybe not recover, but stop dying so much.
Yesterday, I tried SO HARD to manage my morning so that I could get past the latest relapse, and not incur a new one, and then get on with a "productive" day. But then all was lost in another relapse. And then I "recovered" from that, by evening, and within a few hours I was having a relapse in response to THAT relapse/recovery. I am being PUMMELLED by relapse-upon-relapse. Recovery only invites in more illness. This morning, I was frozen in bed, managing my carbon monoxide intake, desperately trying to keep the slightest atom of anxiety from cascading into an avalanche, slowly edging towards the point where stronger areas of my brain were able to wake up on their own - as opposed to being slapped about by a dysfunctional Reptilian MONSTER brain - and so would be able to hold things together, and let me be me, able to get up and do things.
Do you know that merely THINKING about exercising can give you some benefit of actual exercise? Well, merely thinking about activity - or what you expect to do in the near or distant future - can be very bad for people with CFS, ESPECIALLY in the mornings, when they are still strung out and fatigued and stressed and uncomposed. Thinking about the future inevitably leads to ANXIETY, and anxiety leads to a spiral of relapse. The body wants to wake up, but the limbic system bypasses the natural wake-up, ("gating"), process, and goes straight to AGITATING THE HELL OUT OF THE AMYGDALA. It OVERPOWERS the higher, frontal areas of the brain! They are left in the dust. The heart and BP race, acidity builds in the digestive track, oxygenating processes lose out to failing anaerobic ones, muscles fail, and so on. This is all just as bad as being frightened by a fireCRACKER, or the dog suddenly jumping up or barking, in the way it can induce relapse spirals in the morning. Even on the "best" mornings.
Thinking about the future also involves the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which deals with planning and such, and is somehow connected to spindle neurons, which are involved in empathy. This area of the brain, when infected by certain pathogens, or damaged, is related to many serious neuological diseases, like ALS, Autism, and Alzheimers - and so it is with CFS. When it is dysfunctional, the limbic, and reptilian areas of the brain overwhelm the higher/frontal control areas, responsible for discrete reasoning, judgement, choice, etc., and destroy planning, memory, judgement, empathy, etc. It's as if there is a war being waged by the amygdala and the VPC - between the deeper and higher areas of the self - and the higher self loses, because it's an embedded illness, or disability.
That is why CREATIVITY - just floating along in "the flow" - is so helpful for me, as it is for people with Autism. It allows me to generate choice and will, without all this FUTURE stuff. When forced to "be responsible" and deal with the future, I have to use those impaired areas of the brain, which consequently lose oxygen, stress and cortisol skyrocket, and similarly MUSCLES hit a brick wall. It becomes like a Cerebellar impairment, where TRYING to move a limb forward becomes completely impossible. Similarly, I begin to lose the ability to walk, and such. But the main struggle is always in my brain. First and foremost. It seems like constantly, these days, my left eye is small and dead-like, betraying the struggle going on in my left hemisphere. And if I try to attempt anything while this is so, or during stress or fatigue or eyegraine, I only end up pushing against myself, relapsing, and compounding the degree of my illness well into the future. It's wonderfully paradoxical, for the person who is able to ponder it.
Well, see also "Fronto-Temporal Dementia", HHV-6A, and other terms mentioned above.
http://www.ttbook.org was about anxiety today but I couldn't hear it cuz had to take antenna down. Note to ERIN: earlier episode covered fear of death, I think.
So, as relaxed as I could get this morning, i was able to think about WHAT KIND OF LIFE I need in the future, and it's basically a life where I have nothing whatsoever to worry about, no demands or goals, just being allowed to write and create and get back to the degree of health I was in about 5-10 years ago. Which wasn't the greatest, but at least death wasn't a real threat. Living with radical activists or strangers or college kids who want to drink and mountain bike, I must forsake these. I must forsake temporariness. Temporarilly. I need permanence and stability, which is totally not who I really am, but. I need peace and quite. Gardening at my own pace. Healthy food. I need unconditional acceptance. I need a car. I need someone to let the dog out in the morning. Why me, you know? I have the worst possible life. That's about all for this post. The computer activity is already undoing all my progress. Not as bad as yesterday, tho, it seems... Would be nice to get a lot done today but how many times have you heard that?!
What I don't need: Games; judgment; passive aggression; competition; nervousness; spite; uncertainty; resentment; BS; control freaks; mould and mildew; mice; exploding bombs; end of world, hackers.
"I need the freedom and the guile. I need the freedom and the guile."
(I saw a branch on the phone line outside, so maybe if I can remove that, I will stop having these phone problems!)
I'll never understand why David Lowrey started CRACKER. At least he brought CVB back. Uncle Cracker also sucked. And, from the pressure-cooker of the South, diamonds of perverse paradox: "The Atlanta Black Crackers."