Reading This Lovely Life was one of the things that I had to do in order to complete my incomplete classes from the semester of my accident. As a hardfast rule, you apparently must complete all incompletes within a year of the courses. Fortunately, I was given an extra two months, as I was unware of this requirement.
So the past two months all of my time has gone almost exclusively to completing school work, or sleeping. The school work, a daily reminder of how much life has changed since March of 2011. Everything takes so much more effort and time than it used to. For example, I could push out a powerpoint for a 10 minute presentation for class, in the 45 mins I had after work at Pitt before class started. Earlier this month, I spent 20 hours, over the span 5 days, with many breaks in between. Typically I could write a 5 page paper, in an hour or two, just letting the thoughts flow out and some quick proofreading. Now, a ridiculous amount of of prewriting (outlines, rough drafts, etc) and mutliple attempts later I have a paper that is complete, but feels like it was written by a different person, not me. The amount of time put into this, countless hours over many days with lots of symptoms: migraines, neck spasms, major eye pain and sensitivity, ringing in my ears (which had disappeared for a few months); brain fog, slurred speech, etc.
It hurts to know that I am still so limited in regards to the things I found so easy before. Humbling, I guess? That doesn't make it any easier to take.
In her memoir, Vicki Forman talks about "Rocks, Wanna-Be-There's, and Gingerbread Men" in regards to her social acquaintances after the twins are born so premature.
- Rocks are the people who stay and support you, no matter what. No matter how hard or crazy the situation gets, these are the people who stay by your side and do whatever they can to make things easier for your.
- Wanna-Be-There's are exactly that. They want to be there for you, but aren't sure how. They make goodhearted, yet totally clueless attempts to interact with you once or twice, and then they disappear.
- Gingerbread Men: remember the story? These people observe the trainwreck that has become your life and run, run, run as fast as they can.
This time of year is really hard for me. Back to school used to mean: getting a classroom ready with other friends; being involved with band camps; and, feeling the excitement and fresh new beginning that only a new school year can bring.
Most of the people from these parts of my life: work, colorguard, band etc, were immediate wanna-be-theres that soon ran off as gingerbread men. I mean, I get it, they are busy with their own lives. But when I see their posts on facebook about all that August used to mean to me, it really and truly makes me want to cry. I never in a million years would have thought I'd be in the same position again, a year later.
17 months and still suffering... I just want my life back :(