Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Just Tell Me To Shut Up Already

When I was a little girl, my Dad worked for a company called "Cigarette Service". It was a vending company that installed and serviced cigarette machines, video and pinball games, and best of all...jukeboxes. In reality, it barely kept our family of five fed, but to my sisters and me, it seemed like a very prestigious and important job.

When the 45's were taken out of rotation, my Dad brought them home to us. For children unused to having an excess of anything, it was an embarassment of riches. We had stacks and stacks of those glossy black disks. We didn't have much for which to be envied, but our record collection was something special. We enjoyed the status that it conferred upon us.

Our record player was a shabby beige thing that looked like a well travelled suitcase. It wasn't fancy, but it would hold a fat stack of 45's or lp's. It sat in what is now a tastefully decorated office, appointed with all the trappings of modern life: a computer, a scanner, a printer, mail both junk and genuine, things to be filed, things to be forgotten.

But was our playroom; a place of light and warmth with lemon lime walls and soaring ceilings. We spent many happy afternoons there, doing all the silly, pointless, wonderful things that children do.

One of those silly, pointless things, was putting five or six 45's on the record player and then, with arms outstretched, whirling around one another in sloppy ellipses; hair, knees, elbows ablur. We spun and spun, giggling when we bumped into each other, sometimes knocking one another to the floor, sometimes simply careening off of each other, jolted back into our own orbit by the force of our bones knocking together.

When the last song had ended (usually, it was ""Wildfire" by Michael Martin Murphy. It was our favorite, so we saved it for the end, but sometimes it was "The Night Chicago Died" by Paper Lace which was our second favorite) we would collapse on the carpet and ride the swell of dizziness, laughing at the way our eyes jumped around in their sockets.

"She ran calling Wiiiiiiiiiiiiildfiiiiiiiiiiiire..."

It was always good; a wave of buoyant, lilting syncope that set us down on gentle feet and then vanished, leaving only giddiness in it's wake. Then we'd lie there in the sunbeams, wiping strands of hair from our sweaty brows, breathing heavily and waiting for the equilibrium to return so we could stagger to our feet and do it again.

No matter how many times we did it, we never got sick, or sick of it.

See what I did there?

I plucked a barely breathing something from a dark and shadowy corner of my mind and made it alive again. With words. That's what I do. It's what I've always done. And I'm worried. Because that too, is what I do. Worry.

I'm worried that these migraines are carving my brain like a fat juicy bird on a Thanksgiving platter. I'm worried that like that bird, my brain will be left a ravaged shell of a thing; skeletal and useless, no meat, no substance.

The vertigo I am experiencing now is not the benign dizziness of my childhood. It is a symptom of damage that cannot be undone. And I wonder how much more my brain can take before losing things that are vital; memories and abilities that make me who I am.

I can tell that I am diminished. There are times that I have to struggle to find a word, where once it would have leapt onto the page almost before I had thought it. Sometimes, in the middle of a sentence, I lose my train of thought. I can't focus the way I used to. I feel scattered, disjointed. I forget things. I dont follow through.

I thought it was a Mom thing, or maybe an age thing. But now I'm afraid that it's a brain thing. My precious brain...the only thing I slowly being destroyed by a force I can't understand or control.

And if words are taken away from me...I don't know who or what to be.

Now, it could be, that I'm borrowing trouble. Maybe it's not that bad. Writing is not the only thing that's second nature to me; pessimism is equally innate. So I'm well aware that I could be obsessing over nothing.

But the what ifs haunt me. I can't seem to shake this sense of doom. It clings to me like...something clingy. Oh my God, you see? Clingy like WHAT? Like what....

Like a baby possum clings to it's mother's back. Like a writer clinging to her waning ability. Clutching. Desperate.


I suddenly feel very naked, having admitted to my fear. Vulnerable is not something I do well. Just ask my husband. "Why won't you ever let me be there for you?" he asks. And it's true. I don't like to need.

But right now, it's not in me to deny the need. I need to know I will still be me; the writer, the wordsdmith, in five years, ten, twenty.

Who can give me that?

I want to go back to that lemon lime room and whirl my troubles away. I want to lie gasping next to my sister and feel her breath on my cheek. I want the simple carelessness of those days. I want to relish the dizziness instead of fearing it.

I want to be unafraid and undamaged again.

God, I am such a drama queen. I'm annoying myself. To quote Loretta in "Moonstruck"....


  • At 3:15 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    you are not damaged goods. a life without pain is one where learning cannot happen.

  • At 3:54 PM, Blogger the only daughter said…

    I hear you, you can't stop the worry train once it has left the station. But, maybe you can slow it. Let those who are in the position to help, help.

    One day, one step.


  • At 4:11 PM, Anonymous Suzy Voices said…

    Of course you're going to worry. But first of all I have definitely as far as memory/brain power goes, so I bet it's just age. And secondly, you're obviously still writing beautifully. I know you'll continue to do so!

  • At 5:05 PM, Blogger Pgoodness said…

    Of course you're going to worry...but keep writing. Struggling for the right word isn't the same as never finding it - keep searching, keep using that brain of yours, just keep on. :)

  • At 5:18 PM, Blogger Margaret said…

    Worrying is normal, and yet it might make your situation worse.(stress=migraines) This post is so beautifully written that I envy your way with words. If that helps.

  • At 9:55 PM, Anonymous SandyG said…

    Losing one's train of thought and the correct word is often stress and/or age related--at least for me. And you continue to write beautifully.

    Don't give up. As you said, there are LOTS of meds for treating migraines. Maybe there's one still untried that will do it.
    In addition, I found this:

    and this:

    We're on your side.

  • At 10:39 PM, Blogger Lara said…

    I understand the fears, and I think you deserve to let them out a bit. But you're right in that you should borrow too much trouble. In many ways, it's more important to enjoy what we have than to worry about what we will do when we no longer have it.

  • At 10:57 PM, Blogger Just Words On A Page said…

    You are forty now, and with forty comes perimenopause and with perimenopause comes what we deem as "foggy brain" -- which means searching for a lost word. Not being able to rattle off stuff like we used to.

    However, I dig it that you are afraid and it's okay. So why don't we just take it one step at a time and freak out when we need to.

    If your doctors felt you were in grave danger you'd be hospitalized in the ICU -- but you aren't you are writing and sharing with us so beautifully how you are feeling.

    Which is a good thing as Martha says.

  • At 11:19 AM, Blogger Kim said…

    As many others have said - many of your foggy issues are things we are all dealing with as we "get older", even those of us that do not have migraines.

    I too am a worrier and have learned to start turning my thoughts around. I catch myself in a negative thought and make myself instead think of a positive one.

    If you have read The Secret, they say you attract what you think about - either way time will still go on and your time is better used thinking positively then negatively.

    I know you have probably heard that all before - but I had to make myself stop the worrying or I would have driven myself nuts, not to mention my family.

    Consider the least worst scenario and assume that is the problem.

    You are back to work, trying to juggle home and work life, 2 teen boys, stress of hubby not having a job...that is causing your fogginess...not anything permanent.

    Best of luck - keep writing!


  • At 3:07 PM, Blogger Lucy's Mom said…

    Well BA, I am scattered and disjointed, I forget things, I have trouble focusing, I have become a chronic list maker because I can’t remember anything and I definitely have difficulty following through. And, I don’t get migraines. Try to go a little easier on yourself. Maybe it’s just part of the aging process. That’s what I think anyway. Be kind to yourself and try not to worry so much.

  • At 3:51 PM, Blogger Amy Sue Nathan said…

    I know this is serious business going on with you. And you are right to be concerned. But I will tell you that I don't suffer from chronic migraines - I have had two or three isolated migraines in the past 20 years. So I know what they are like. But I do know what it's like to not be able to find a word and to not remember the name of people I knew 12 years ago. There's only so much room on this 45 year old hard drive I figure, and in order to move forward it needs to make space. I honestly sometimes talk aloud when I write if I can't think of a word - I give myself the definite and then the word appears. Backwards but it works. Age, life, being overwhelmed and stressed all play a part that add to what you believe is ONLY being caused medically. I hope that your doctors have answers very soon that put you at ease.

    Oh, want to feel better? Read this:

  • At 8:42 AM, Blogger Avalon said…

    BA~~~ I dealt with this last year after being diagnosed with Lyme. I felt as if my brain was suddenly trying to pummel it's way through a thick mist to work correctly.

    I don't know if it was treatment, time, acceptance or a combination of all three, but I am better now. Not nearly as panicky when a word doesn't arrive on my tongue quickly enough.

    Hopefully, whatever treatment course you decide upon will help you too.

  • At 4:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I hope you won't find this stupid, but I am sending hugs and positive thoughts. I can't tell you not to stress, but please take good care of yourself!

  • At 9:39 PM, Anonymous AA said…

    Well I do get horrible migraines so it is possible that I have daine bramage, but.... I am nearing the end of my forties as are most of my friends and one of our favorite gripe topics is about all the things you describe. Most every woman I know and some men say they have trouble remembering words, get distracted mid sentence, leave the room and wonder why, etc. etc. etc. Of course some is age, but I also believe some is due to our society and the stress involved tryong to be all things to all people at a very fast pace and thinking that you have to do five things at once. Read all the studies out about multi tasking and how it is not good for you or your brain.

    But, Ya know, I also ride the worry train with you every chance I get.

  • At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I stand by what I said earlier...I am so glad you went and got diagnosed. You are more than all of that other stuff combined. You are your kids' mom. And you are going to get treated and you are going to live with whatever they find. But, you are going to live.

    Oh look, you've brought me to tears once again!

    Mary in Texas

  • At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have been getting migraines since I was a child, one of the first signs is losing my words. I worry about the long term affect but as I've never been able to nail down the trigger I have little ammunition against an oncoming migraine. I do know that stress, fatigue, dehydration and menstruation can bring one on so I try to manage those factors. Worry is going to give you a headache be it a migraine or just a regular ache so trite as it may seem, please do try not to do that unnecessarily.

    Other things to think about would be acupuncture, chiropractic work and or shiatsu massage - all of these have helped me over the years.

    Good luck!

    Boliath xx


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