So, yeah. I think I’m going nuts. Seriously. Or maybe more nuts than before now, but still – nuts. JPN. Just Plain Nuts. I am obsessing over things, some more serious than others, but still I am fixated and can’t seem to shake it off. I hate when this happens.

I am obsessing over not having a job, for obvious reasons. The most pressing issue with continued unemployment is that I have no health care without the Affordable Care Act subsidy. I must have health insurance coverage – I have too many issues that require periodic medical intervention, medication, etc. So, to maintain the ACA subsidy, I have to demonstrate earnings at or above the poverty level (which is $12,400 in North Carolina). Since I am living on my savings right now, I can’t quite demonstrate actual income. This is a problem.

Ethically, the entire situation disturbs me tremendously. I have no issue paying taxes on the amount it costs me to live from day to day, but that’s not how the system works. The system expects that if I have cash on hand, I will exhaust that before attempting to qualify for any kind of subsidy. The stupid thing about that is that I’m not asking for assistance with rent, or daily living expenses, only health care coverage. I’m caught in the breach between sensible government and the bureaucracy. Caught in a trap, like one the coyote puts out for the road runner…comical, and you can predict that it won’t work, but still the coyote persists. I don’t move fast enough to be the road runner, but I don’t mind pointing out the absurdity of systems that ultimately push a person to the edge of a cliff.

Anyhow, I’m also obsessing about this sleep test I will have next week. I have to report at 8pm, then get my head wired up like one of the machines in a bad sci-fi movie. After that, I’m supposed to go to sleep there. Last time I did this, the bed was comfortable and everything, but…it wasn’t my bed, in my funky apartment, and I couldn’t really sleep. I never went into alpha-sleep, so ultimately I dozed. The test results were inconclusive for sleep apnea, so kind of a waste of time (in my opinion).

I cannot get this out of my mind, for two reasons – should I board the dog since I’ll be out for up to 10 hours (they discharge you – or boot you out of bed – at 6:30am). Will she whine and bark in the middle of the night while I’m gone? This would disturb the neighbors, although goodness knows they disturb me in the middle of the night at times. But I am fretting over this detail of the event.

I must admit, though, some of what else is running roughshod over my sense of wellbeing is, in all seriousness, whether or not I am going nuts. Or maybe beginning the descent into dementia that seems to have claimed every woman on my mother’s side of the family. Is that what this obsession is about? Am I really experiencing somewhat of a cognitive decline at this point? This is about where it started to noticeably affect my mother, right around this chronological age. By the time it was interfering with her daily life, she was retired and everyone saw her as just another slightly goofy old lady. But I remember when it started, the forgetfulness, the inability to follow a train of sequential thought or instructions. It was subtle at first, then more and more pronounced until finally her cognition was nearly non-existent. Her thinking became more and more chaotic, and she became increasingly paranoid. The unique parts of her were becoming hazy and blurred until finally, what made her unique was gone. Only the involuntary functions remained at the very end. It was a frightening decline, and I am terrified of travelling that same road. That’s probably what is underneath all of my neurosis at this point, and the real obsession is wondering if I really am starting that journey into nothingness. I am still really afraid of having an accident in somebody else’s bed during the sleep study, but this far is far more present and way more central. I’m not sure if I can fully shake that, but I’ll work on it in therapy. We’ll see.

The other thing I’m fretting over is my somewhat nervous bladder. I frequently get up to go to the bathroom at least once just about every night. Usually I can go back to sleep, but sometimes it takes a while. To get up during the study is not simple, because you have to be disconnected from the monitoring equipment. They literally will have to unplug me. What if they don’t get there in time??? What if I am so disoriented that I have an accident in bed??? This is costing me sleep NOW.

So, my brain is running in overdrive, and I am not liking it. Yes, I have been taking ALL of my medications. Yes, I do still have an appointment with the new psychiatrist, in the next 10 days or so I think. Yes, I understand that even if the dog barks or I mess up the bed during the sleep study, it will not be the end of the world. Who am I to be embarrassed by not handling one or both tasks imperfectly? Well, I am me, and me is the only person who is going to be mortified if either outcome is realized.

Today it is gloomy and has already rained, with more on the way. The weather suits my mood, although sitting here writing this has made things seem just a little bit lighter. It is still very warm these days, and right now it’s 72F and that’s somewhat cool because of the clouds. Summertime in the Southland. Autumn usually has to wait its turn, and when I was even farther South growing up Christmas Day was sometimes 80F. We had to watch movies to see what a “white Christmas” was all about. Here, it’s usually pretty chilly by December 25th, and we’ve had at least a couple of snowfalls by then.

I love snow. It’s something I never had, so it is a childish thrill for me even now. Things feel sharp and clear, even though it’s very cloudy when it snows. But seeing big snowflakes coming down does something for me, and a snow-covered ground gives me a feeling of awe. A snow bank is like a giant snowball to me, and I love to get a mouthful of it while it’s still falling. I’ve been warned not to eat the yellow snow and all that, but when it’s freshly fallen I love it.

Snow is really, really cool and I look forward to it, but ice is another story. If we lose power, that’s kind of a drag, but mostly it’s my fellow humans that bring me down even on a pretty snow-only day. People can’t drive, even on a sunny day and there are always those people driving a car that should be shot to put it out of everyone’s misery. Yes, people, let’s see what your mostly bald tires can do when the roadway is sporting a thin sheet of black ice. And yes, this would be the time for you to check out your 4-wheel drive. That’s the ticket.

Ah, the humans. I suppose they are not really supposed to make sense. They believe they are making perfect sense, though, and therein lies the problem. Arrogance and hubris will kill us all if some things don’t change. Collectively we have no humility, and I think we’re going to keep feeling like victims of everyone (or at least that somebody is out to get us because we’re so great) and everything else because of that. But again, I digress.

What I’m going to attempt for today is something very challenging for me, and that is staying in the present moment. Reality is kind of an immediate option, not something in the past or something that has not yet happened. Maybe I could pick up a little around the apartment, throw out some trash, put a few things in order so I can find them when I need them. That would be a good thing for a day like today.

Or maybe not.

Sometimes this is how it feels to be me. A third e ye is not a bad thing, unless it needs vision correction.

Published by annzimmerman

I am Louisiana born and bred, now living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Fortunately for me, I was already living in NC before Hurricane Katrina decimated my beloved New Orleans. An only child, I now feel that I have no personal history since the hurricane destroyed the relics and artifacts of my childhood. As I have always heard, c'est la vie. My Louisiana roots show in my love of good coffee, good food, and good music. My soggy native soil has also shown me that resilience is hard-wired in my consciousness; when the chips are down (or drowned)...bring it on.

2 thoughts on “Obsession

  1. A thought paraphrased from a movie I watched recently ( Free Guy ): Even if we’re not real, the moments we make some good in are.
    I don’t know how you feel inside or what’s happening to you; all I know is that it hasn’t happened yet. It sounds scary and like you’re losing the solid ground beneath your feet but, right now, you’re still making moments and touching others. Even if a day comes where you can’t find your way out of that labyrinth inside, you’ll still have touched people and ( just like you still do ) they will hold onto that precious moment of ‘you’.

    I don’t know if that helps at all but I hope it does


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: