Alien Take Over?
Last updated: February 2020
Lately, I haven't felt like myself for a number of reasons, so many, I can't put them down all at one time. One thing that has really been messing with me and frankly scaring and upsetting me, is I feel like an alien has taken over my brain. I don't know what's going on anymore or recognize who I am. I feel lost in a world whirling around me and confused by what I experience.
Out of body experiences
Have you ever felt like you were having an out of body experience or that weird déjà vu feeling where when you snap to, you say to yourself, "What the heck was that about?" It's been happening to me more and more lately, which at times is a seizure signal for me. Aside from that though, I don’t always understand what I’m doing, or why. Let me give a few examples, but don't call the loony wagon to pick me up, please. I swear, it's just the glowing spots on my brain playing mean tricks on me.
Example #1 - Why Am I Eating a Waffle?
I like waffles, but I wanted yogurt. One afternoon, I headed to my kitchen to get a container of yogurt and some nuts for lunch. What I left the kitchen with was waffles... homemade waffles to be exact. As I got ready to head to the couch to eat my yogurt, I realized I had a plate of waffles in my hands and that my counter had ingredients scattered all over it for making not only yogurt and nuts, but an omelet with cheese and veggies, as well as the ingredients for my waffles and the waffle iron propped open to cool. I was so confused that I couldn't even clean the mess up because I couldn't figure out why it was there to begin with. So I sat and ate my waffles, which were delicious, and just waited for my brain to sort it out. I remember being confused in the kitchen and rummaging around, but I didn't know why I was confused at the time. I felt really overwhelmed. I eventually was able to go back in and clean up my mess and put the slew of ingredients I did not use away.
Example #2 - Why Am I Decorating the Tree?
The other day, I got up from the couch with full intentions to fold towels and put them away. At some point, I realized I was decorating my Christmas tree. That required me to pull out bins of decorations from the coat closet nearby. I got a few handfuls of ornaments on and then just stopped and thought, "Why am I doing this?” I hadn't wanted to decorate my tree until the weekend when I planned to buy new ribbon. In my family, ribbon goes on first, so I knew I couldn't put decoration on until after the great ribbon hunt. I was so confused...but the momentum was moving, so I just kept decorating the tree. I supposed the ribbon would go on later or maybe not at all. I hadn’t decided how I felt about the tree. I sort of felt like it wasn’t really my tree anymore.
Not in control of my own brain
I spend so much time confused and not in control of my own brain. I feel flooded with information and decisions to make and get so overwhelmed that I feel paralyzed while mentally spinning out, thinking everything and nothing all at the same time. Several times a day I actually physically pivot in place as my brain shifts from one decision to another, trying to figure out what direction to go in, and I can't remember why I even got up in the first place.
It's the invisible toll of MS that's harder to understand
MS takes a lot from you, and among other things, it has invited an alien into my brain and allowed it to go hog-wild up there. The physical effects of this disease are easier for people to see and easier to explain and empathize with. My leg braces, walker and cane make it obvious I have trouble getting around, but it’s the invisible tolls that family, friends or people around you at the store have a hard time recognizing and understanding.
I'm still me, but am I? Who’s really in control? Sometimes I’m not sure.
Example #3 – Clean Up in Aisle 4
I go into the grocery store with 5 items on my list and a plan, then I get in there and I'm lost. It's the same store I’ve shopped in for 19 years, but for some reason I can't make a route around the store without going back and forth and getting lost in aisles that I don't need to be in, looking at items I don't need to buy. Suddenly so overly excited and frantically looking for garlic and bouquets of flowers, that are defiantly not on my list and I have no need for. I almost feel manic, or what I can only imagine mania must feel like; totally out of control.
Example #4 – Who, What, Where, When & Why?
My phone alarm tells me it’s lunchtime, so I start heating a pan to make food, then remember I have to go to the bathroom and head to the bathroom, but on the way I have a thought pop in my head that I wanted to check my email, so I change coarse mid-step and head to the computer to sit down, then end up looking at a different program all together... I get lost in that loop until I smell the hot pan and almost pee myself jumping up to turn it off and I can’t remember what I was even going to make. At that point, I haven't made food to eat, I haven't gone to the bathroom, I haven't checked my email and I'm knee-deep in a project that wasn't even on my to-do list that day and I forget to eat lunch all together.
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