It is football season in the National Football League and here at my house, we gather in expectation for each big game.
I am a dedicated fan of professional football, follow several teams and am endlessly entertained by the game and its players. As a middle aged grandmother, I still watch even if I am by myself, but I enjoy that my husband loves it as much as I do.
Football season and game day rituals are bright lights in our house.
We all need those things in our lives; things that get our blood pumping and fill us with anticipation.
Those things that keep us up late also have a next level in real fulfillment. For the true connoisseur, spending hours discussing the minutia of one’s particular obsession is fascinating.
My husband and I might discuss penalties , punts, corners or the draft, who fired who, who is back from injury, and the play so in so should have run instead of the clearly ineffective run play on 3rd and long; the list is full of topics that inspire.
Between the heated “It is a catch, for Pete’s sake, who cares about the football move?!” diatribes against the NFL and depth chart musing, it is both satisfying to us and mind numbing to anyone outside our obsession with football.
The problem is that I have fibromyalgia, which among its many symptoms includes random memory impairment and thought process interruption.
Experts describe this slow down as brain fog.
If I can’t remember my best friends new last name or where I put that thing I set aside so I wouldn’t lose it, its not a tragedy, but sometimes I forget vital information. I was in a store recently and the clerk asked me a simple question and I couldn’t answer it.
I just stood there feeling horrified. Name and address? Um. Give me a minute.
Consider what it is like to be a smart capable person who at random times can’t remember how to do something simple. Things I do everyday or have been doing for years can be roadblocks when I’m in The Fog.
Lately, for instance, I have added setting the GPS to my driving life. GPS will remind me of my intended destination just in case I get to a stop sign and can’t remember where I was going. It is forgetfulness on steroids.
I’m not sure people know what is wrong with me.
It probably comes across as rude or as if I don’t care when I forget major life milestones of friends, names of people I have known for years, or repeat myself after forgetting what has just been said.
I avoid social situations.
Forgetting that a friend’s children are in college now and not in middle school stops conversation.
I told my husband that it is as if my identity has been assaulted, because I have always had an analytical and busy mind. There is security in brain power. Graduating with honors and breezing through college classes, I felt grounded in being a thinker and a writer, but the ground is unsteady now.
I write without the same assurance of clarity.
If I am not careful, I edit endlessly and sometimes the edits are not an improvement. I try to consider how my mind is functioning each day, so I don’t edit something into nonsense.
Today is a struggle day, but I am writing anyway, both as therapy and as my life’s work that I have deeply missed.
Any pursuit that is heathy and engaging stimulates the mind and helps me fight The Fog,
so thank you football and thank you writing for helping me fight The Fog.
Barefoot and writing,