Salt Pepper Olive Oil

May 6, 2013
There are tough days and tougher days. On tough days, my mind has trouble concentrating, but I can get on my motorcycle and all of the sudden have the ability to focus. Today was one of the tougher days.

Every day I hope to accomplish something especially since I have no income at the moment. Maybe it will be finding a job that I can actually do, getting closer to receiving disability assistance, or completing another post for my blog that maybe will turn into income if enough people subscribe.

This morning the local Social Security office called in order to get more medical information. The call gave me a sense of relief that something was moving forward, but it was a difficult conversation. I had trouble finding words to explain my healthcare situation or ask questions.

I used to speak fast, debate, and twist conversations to prove points. These days I’m dumb.

PTSD has been referred to among veterans as “battle fatigue syndrome” and “shell shock”. Now I know why. To say my mind is fatigued is accurate. If you’ve ever had an all-nighter then tried to perform the next day without sleep, you have an idea what it’s like but without the tiredness that leads to sleeping. My brain feels like it hasn’t slept in 40 hours but I’m not physically tired. If I lie down, I will stare into space while my mind wanders.

Even simple tasks were hard today. It took a ridiculous amount of time to get laundry into the washer. I don’t know exactly why, except that I had trouble making decisions and getting parts of my body to move.

At lunchtime I decided to have fish and broccoli, something I failed at preparing last week. Stores to buy the ingredients are close by and I could go while the laundry was in the washer.

It helps to have a deadline for completing tasks. I decided I would get the shopping done before the washer cycle was done. Otherwise I might stand in a store for an hour staring at all the choices and imagine the past, make up stories in my head, or think of countless meal ideas.

I had plenty of time before the laundry would be ready for the dryer, so I took my time going to the store. On the street, I stopped to take in the air and found myself watching people and cars as they passed by. It felt comfortable. This is what homeless people on the streets do. A lot of them have PTSD too.

Cooking was another challenge. In the past, part of the fun of cooking was getting creative and trying different spice and herb combinations. Not today. Looking back at lunchtime, dill would have worked well with the tilapia. Being dumb and dull, salt, pepper, and olive oil was all I could muster. If it was steak, SPOO would be the only seasoning needed. On fish, though, something was missing. At least avocado made it onto the plate’s roster.

It took at least twice as long to prepare the meal as it might have 12 years ago. Everything takes more time, except riding.

To get to a meeting on time, folding the laundry had to wait.

On the Ninja, focusing was no problem. But comprehending words on the street was an issue. At one red light, “Keep clear” and “No left turn” appeared as one message. A car passing on the right showed me it was okay to cross keep clear.

Riding exhausted my brain more. By the time I got home, even a simple dish with salt, pepper, and olive oil was out of the question. It was pasta and jar sauce for dinner.

I have no idea what part of the brain gives us the ability to ride motorcycles, but I’m pretty sure and hope it’s not the same as cooking.

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