Monday, March 22, 2021

Smartening Up

I read all day yesterday (when not walking Her Highness). At the end of the day, around five, the sun came out and today (and the coming week) promises to be gorgeous. I’m walking with my fellow dog-walkers this morning and then we’re all going by Doug and Gisela’s house to wish Gisela a happy birthday—and to have cookies together (outside).

My friend Bruce has smartened me up. I’m going to see no one except my dog walking friends (with whom I walk in the lead position so as not to be downwind of anyone). I pondered the risks my friend saw me taking. I reckon I’m so wrapped up in my mental health/speech/seizure issue, and because I feel so safe here, I’ve lost perspective.

I’m two weeks from my fifth anniversary with pretty rough symptoms—socially uncomfortable symptoms. I’m pretty much constantly thinking about my speech: I try to speak when I’m alone, or try speaking as Rand (“Rand speak” is when I speak with a fake Australian accent that allows me to speak fluently—I know, I know, it’s weird, but this is a mental health issue) or I’m making strategies for how I’m going to handle communication in an impending interaction, or I’m reading about my symptoms online, or writing the diary I keep for Dr. Shoja meeting. Or, I’m writing out things I want to say to a vendor because reading it helps me stutter less. (I try not to use my Rand voice; it makes me feel very self-conscious, phony and silly and I live in raging total fear that a stranger will join the conversation and ask me where I’m from in Australia).

Living with this bloody condition is a full-time job. Covid has been small potatoes, but Bruce brought me back to my senses.

Today I’ll likely be outdoors raking up forest fall from the lawns. Once that’s done, I’ll move onto the gardens, cleaning them up, churning the soil and pruning the Lavender. I think I’m in for a good week. Come Wednesday, I will likely hear about my dates for vaccination.

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