Over the past couple of weeks since ECT I have been blessed by the almost complete removal of Suicidal Ideations, reduction in the feeling of depression, and the decrease in general negativity. With this all been said, as I have been back at work, endeavouring to be more proactive around the house with both chores and children, and participating in Bible study with my wife every evening. All in all things have been going pretty well, but there are a few things that have made me want my old brain back.
I like to think that I am quite good with my words, almost eloquent if you will, but over the past couple of weeks I have barely been able to string a sentence together without forgetting one of the key words. For example, when I was writing the introduction paragraph to this post, I completely forgot the word proactive. I sat here staring at my computer for several minutes trying to think of the word. Eventually I asked my wife, and we sat in our office going through possible words until something twigged. It isn’t always a difficult or foreign word that is forgotten. Yesterday I forgot dishwasher, drink, phone, and car. I know that we all have moments were we simply forget something, or our brains decide it’s on lunch, but when it happens with as much (like right now) regularity as it has done with me, I wish that I had my old sponge of a brain back, and the guys and girls from my Diploma of Nursing class will know what I mean.
The other thing I have lost is my tenacity or drive. Previously I was beyond driven, I had so many things on the go at once sometimes I didn’t know how I got them all done. I was volunteering at Scouts, the Diploma of Nursing Society, the SRC, the SPARC, studying my Diploma, parenting, assembling painting and playing Warhammer, and working. By anyones standards I was busy. I know that to work at that level for too long can burn anyone out. There comes a point when you have to hit the breaks and slow down for a bit. I unfortunately didn’t do that. I decided that the only thing to do was keep going and try and pile more on. I have no doubt this lead to my brain applying the breaks for me. Now I work 8 days a fortnight, study my Bachelor of Nursing, parent, be a friend, a son, and assemble, paint, and play Warhammer. A far stretch from where I was six months ago. The issue I have is, I miss being busy, I miss achieving things, I miss making the area around me better. I have no drive, no tenacity, and no push to achieve almost anything. I find it distressing and depressing that I don’t have the same level of drive as I have had previously and I am scared that I won’t ever have it again.
A mindset that I have found to be creeping in is mediocrity. Too many times over the past couple of weeks I have uttered the words ‘Meh, that will do’ or ‘Ps get Degrees’. Anyone who knows me will know that is not an attitude I ascribe to. During my Diploma studies I strove be be the best that I could be, know as much as I could, and generally attempt to be all that I could be. This is the reason I was nominated for two awards, received a High Distinction in one of my first semester units of my Bachelor, and a Distinction average on the others. I always pushed harder and reached further. Now I can barely motivate myself to achieve the minimum I need to just achieve. I am sitting on a credit average this semester, may have just passed two essays, and have not undertaken any extra curricular activities, vice this blog. I do miss the thirst for knowledge, the little voice that yearned to know more, the attitude of nothing is good enough until you have done all that you can. Instead, I am left with an apathetic brain that can barely remember the word dishwasher, a far cry from where we were.
How I actually go about cherry picking the best parts of my brain and behaviour from before treatment and then apply them to life now is still a mystery. Maybe the only way to have the level of tenacity and drive is to have the negatives that come with it, negative feat for a positive feat. Maybe I am now stuck with the brain as it is and I just have make the most of it. I find it distressing to think that I have voluntarily removed almost everything that made me, me. It is almost as if I have been changed from an A type personality to a B type. I know as many of you read this particular post you will be thinking of how much I still do, and how I am being too hard on myself. The reality is the one of the behavioural traits that carried over almost flawlessly was my ability to self analyse and subsequently tear myself to shreds. It’s not the healthiest trait, but it does help me improve, or at least identify fault. Where do I go from here? I honestly don’t know. I know I need to improve my drive, but not at the cost of my mental health. I know I need to push more, but not at the cost of those around me. One day I suppose I will find that balance, unfortunately today is not that day.
Maintain the Rage