Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fibro Sucks for Having Arguments

Last night, Don and I were discussing minutiae (again) and came across a point of contention between us.  We love to discuss controversial topics and compare our thoughts on things.  Most times we agree (almost sickeningly, according to some spectators), but there are times when we just butt heads.  Both of us desire, very strongly, to ensure that our respective points are clearly understood by the other party, in the hopes that the disagreement can be resolved simply by clarifying our points.

Anyway, we got into this heated debate and I realized how shitty it is to be the one with mental faculties compromised.  Such a disadvantage can cost an enthusiastic debater, not only the argument, but some pride and self-esteem, as well.  I can usually hold my own, but last night I observed my cognitive shortcomings getting in the way of my communicating my oh-so-relevant points.  It was basically like this:
Don: "You said that the only reason..."
Benia: "No, That's not what I said!  I never said 'the only', I--"
Don: point #1, POINT #2...
Benia: "WAIT!  Let me FINISH!!"
Don: "Okay, what?  Say what you gotta say."
Benia: (thinking)...
Don: POINT #3--
Benia: "No WAIT!  I'm NOT DONE!!  That's NOT what I SAID!!  LEMME FINISH!!!"
Don: (waiting patiently, with an impatient sigh and some not-so-subtle eye-rolling)
Benia: "Um.. so..." (choppily bodged together sentences of barely acceptable English, forming some semblance of what I really wanted to say, with pauses unintentionally interspersed)...
Anyway, you get the picture.  The way Fibromyalgia affects my cognitive abilities, especially my ability to find the precise language I need, and the time it takes me to find those words, really....um... frustrating.... GRRR!   Ya know?

The fact that I have the ability to take my time and ponder what I want to express using written words is my saving grace.  If I didn't impress myself with they way I communicate in writing, I'd be convinced that I'm stupid and give up on a lot of things.  Thank goodness I can take as long as I want (within reason) to find a word or phrase in e-mails and blog posts.  I'm practically a friggin' genius on paper.  But when I open my mouth to speak, and discuss things on the fly - oh who knows what I'll come up with?  

Most times, when live discussion is pressuring me to keep talking, I find myself torn between two words or phrases (sometimes they are both acceptable, but sometimes they are not) and they end up coming out morphed into some nonsensical hybrid, then I quickly correct myself by choosing one or saying both correctly, to scoop back up some of my dignity in front of the other person or people.  

Other times I just wait and wait for that word or phrase that I KNOW is hiding in that dusty brain of mine, but it doesn't come until the conversation moves on to a different topic, has completely ended, or sometimes not until days afterward.  Yes, sometimes, days after conversations I've had, I still struggle to find the right word or phrase, or the name of someone or something.  It's like unfinished business and it nags at me and distracts me from the task at hand.  I usually give up if I can't figure it out in a few days.  I figure it will come to me when it's ready - so why bother worrying over it?  I'll be driving to work one day and suddenly exclaim in victory "bergamot!" (and smile the rest of the ride).

I'm glad I got this off my chest.  I know some of you will be able to relate.  If you have anything you'd like to share about it, I would welcome your version of this fibrofog.  (Hint: Click "Comments" below and tell me I'm not alone on this!)