For the first time in a long time I’m going to bed by myself. That doesn’t mean that I’m sleeping alone; what it does mean is that I’m going upstairs, changing my clothes, and getting into bed by myself. It has been three and half months since I have been home after my seizures. For all that time we’ve had a woman come down me into bed. Last week, though, I told Deb that I didn’t need her to come anymore. I feel ready to get into bed by myself. That may not seem like a big feat to anyone else, but for me it has been very difficult to get to this point. I have been weak. I have been disoriented. And I have been afraid of falling.
What does it mean to feel unable to fend for oneself? It means fear. It means loneliness. It means a sense of littleness. By littleness I mean that I have felt in adequate, unimportant, and insignificant in others’ lives. I have felt like others means something in this world, but that I am simply hanging on to others’ lives. That makes me feel alone. That makes me feel unloved. That makes me feel alone. How many times have I said “alone” in this paragraph? As many times as it takes to convey my feeling of being alone in this world. I can’t remember anything, so I end up feeling like no one has come to this house; feeling like I haven’t left the house; feeling like I will never leave this house again.
As I think I’ve said before, I have no memory. That reality intensifies this feeling of inadequacy because I feel like I have to ask the same questions over and over again. I simply can’t remember. My grandfather used to say that his mind was a sieve. Whatever went in went out. That’s my experience of the world right now. I forget where I’ve been. I forget who’s been here. I forget everything. As a result, I am alone – at least I feel alone.
One thing I remember is that when I was well people used to tell me that I needed to learn to live in the present. If I believed in a divine power I would believe that this problem with my memory is a lesson: live in the present and embrace it like there’s nothing else. That’s what I feel; there simply is nothing but the present. That said, I don’t believe in a divine power. I believe we have what we have here in this life; that said, I do believe that this is a lesson: I have what I have right now, in this place, with these people. The only past I have is the distant past, and that will simply have to do.
I always feel that when I’m writing an essay I have to bring it to some kind of neat conclusion. I can’t think of one for this essay, though. The fact is, that I’m simply putting it out there, saying it out loud, sharing it so that I don’t feel so alone with this reality. I am tired now because I keep working to remember. That screws me up time and time again. For instance, I have been telling myself over and over again today that I need to remember to get Dixie cups and Biotene. At some point today Jonathan got both of these items for me, but I don’t remember that, so the repetition confused me and kept me from remembering that he got them. I simply don’t know what to do.