Saturday, December 09, 2006

Fear: Declining mental powers

My brain seems to be working less and less well all the time. I'm more and more forgetful. I forget what I'm talking about in mid-sentence. I can't remember words. (I know the word is "out there"; I "just" can't remember what it is! . . .) And I'll be working on something, get distracted momentarily--an email will come in, or something--and I'll fail to remember what it was I was working on. . . . So I become less and less efficient, less and less able to accomplish anything . . . at least anything I have declared is of top importance.

I find myself--or, at least, I think of myself--as somnambulating [sleep-walking] through life. What was a curious and delightful diversion in college (I'd think "great and mighty thoughts" during almost every course lecture; my "notes" were all about my thoughts rather than about the professor's lecture) . . . --What was a curious and delightful diversion in college is now, it seems, becoming almost a prison. I find myself more and more unable to maintain focus on what another person is saying. I begin daydreaming during lectures, sermons, plays, musicals--any semi-passive listening opportunity--i.e., any opportunity in which I have no ability to interact with the presenter.

(New thought: Is that why I have always tended to be "the" person in a class who would "always" ask questions? . . . Maybe even back in high school, when I'd do that, I was attempting to overcome my penchant for daydreaming? Perhaps I have always been this way, but I just didn't realize it? Whether that's the case or not . . .)

I am becoming increasingly concerned that I might find myself literally "sleepwalking" through life. Sometimes I get the feeling that my brain is functioning about the way I have noticed it does--or the way it feels--when I find myself waking from an episode of attempted sleep-talking. (Ever had that happen to you? . . . I wake up from a dream in which I desperately want to say something, but I can't make my mouth form the words. It's as if my entire head has been stuffed with Novocaine or something. I can make my mouth move, and my vocal chords are moving, but at extreme slow-mo. And though I try to shout, and though my vocal chords are vibrating the way they should when I speak (and not when I whisper), I can't get much more sound volume from them than when I am whispering. . . . --And then I wake up!)

I don't want to "go gentle into that good night."
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