As I’ve mentioned many times in my posts, care-giving is exhausting. Add the autism into it and it is more than exhausting, it is mind-numbing. Lately, I seemed to have entered an interesting phase in this journey I am on of looking after Mom.
I suppose you might say I have resorted to putting my brain on auto-pilot to manage day by day. I know exactly what I have to do to look after Mom first thing in the morning, throughout the day and in the evening when getting her ready for bed. It’s like a mathematical formula that just repeats itself day in and day out. My mind also knows to check for what we need in groceries, what medications I need to renew, to do the laundry when the pile gets quite high, to get Mom’s glucernas when she is running low, to feed the cats, to take out the garbage and so on. Routine, Routine, Routine….
This is all pretty normal but what’s changed is the times that I am not in routine. I used to work on projects like making my greeting cards, tidying, sorting, doing various crafts, reading, doing my budget and so on. Now my blank times are just that – blank. I sit and rock, I doze, I sit and hum, I sit, I sit some more and some more… And most of the time my mind is blank. Like it has turned itself off. Even doing this blog is very difficult and I am forcing myself to think to write. I have a speech to write for later this month. I can’t get started. My brain is out of gas. My tank is empty. And there is no gas station for miles around. I am stranded in this land of blankness. I forget to look after myself, I forget to shower, to brush my hair ( I think it has been 4 days since I brushed my hair – thank goodness for winter and hats.) I forget to eat and if I do eat, I eat junk food. Gone is the healthy diet I was on for the past couple of years. Sometimes I wear my clothes to bed too tired to change. Sometimes I’m too tired to go to bed and sleep in my chair. And then pair that with nights when I am zinging and I stay up all night.
Emotions elude me at times. I don’t feel sad or angry or happy. I just feel nothing. I just move through the day doing what I have to to keep Mom in the best of care. I must renege a bit here. Yes, there are times that emotions elude me but there are also times when my emotions gush out of me like mighty torrents of raging waters and I am unable to control them. And it usually over something very trivial. The other day I wrote a letter to someone and I had spent a month trying to figure out what to say and just how to say it. I got it written and was happy with it and saved it and closed my laptop. Later I went to print it off and I couldn’t find it anywhere. It was just gone! You would have thought the world was about to end. I cried, I wailed, I screamed. I even felt I was so upset that I would need to go into the hospital and told my doctor so. But I don’t have the luxury of copping out. Who would look after Mom?? I have to go on no matter what. This story does have a happy ending because when I calmed down enough I got myself together and took my laptop to a computer place and for $11.56 I was able to retrieve my letter. I told the technician that if I had a million dollars I would give it all to him. I was that happy.
I guess when you don’t have the luxury of copping out and you are in need of a break your mind just tells you it’s going on break whether you like it or not. And I believe that is exactly what my mind has done. It’s taking it’s own holiday without me. How rude! And it’s just hit the auto-pilot button so I can continue doing what I have been doing.
It’s not that bad really. I’m not in pain, I’m not suffering much at all. Being in a blank state is actually quite nice. You just don’t get much done except the bare necessities. But maybe that is just where I have to be right now until my brain decides it has had enough of a holiday and wants to come home.
Meanwhile, I’ll just continue to sit and veg and sit and rock and sit and hum and sit and sleep and best of all sit and pet my cats when they take advantage of me being in one place for a while. Nothing better than petting a cat for your brain on a holiday.
So life is kind of on hold right now. I don’t go out much. I don’t do much. I don’t have the energy to see my friends. I am not able to read much. I’m in limbo, in this weird state of mind and I don’t know how long it will last. I guess I just go with it. As long as I can take care of Mom I don’t care about me. I have survived much worse. I will survive this.