Sometimes it doesn't pay to think about certain things, like who you are.
I realised that this morning. This very weird morning. I was having enough problems with external stuff, the very idea of failing to know who I am was too scary to consider so I decided, quite deliberately, not to even try to remember my own name.
I'd woken up after a late night. Not a boozy, party night - just a quiet, wide awake, brain ticking over with unpleasant stuff I have going on, couldn't get to sleep before 3am night. I wasn't especially tired but I felt kind of blank. Went about the basic morning stuff on auto-pilot. Toilet, shower, washed hair, dried hair, got dressed. And then I realised I didn't know where to go. I couldn't remember where I worked.
Having discounted previous jobs and self employments of the past, I knew where work WAS, just not what it was called. This isn't good, I thought, but since I now knew where to go, I set off on foot in that direction.
Half way there (it's under 10 minutes stroll away) I went into the cafe where I buy coffee. The usual girl was there, I said hi, and totally blanked. Coffee. I know I want coffee. There's the 3 different size cups. I want the middle one. What does this place call the middle one? It's not a "Grande", that's the servo. Isn't it? "Um, sorry, having a brain fade day!" Um, it's got writing on it... medium! It's a medium. Medium what? White. I want white, and sugar. 1 sugar. "Ah, medium white, 1 sugar please." "Flat white?" Yes! "That's the one, thanks."
Back on auto pilot, walking to work. Why can't I remember anything? Test yourself. Who do you work with? Um... Margi! The boss is Margi. And the rest of the Margi family, husband, son... Names? Um... Oh! and that girl. Pretty. Sits next to me. We work together, She's been there for years. What's her name? Jess! No, that's the receptionist. She's on holidays. Argh.
So I stop, sit on a wall and light a smoke. Drink some coffee. Look at my watch. I have 10 minutes to get it together. Start with something simple. What's my name? Shit, don't even go there, if you fail at that you'll never get off this fucking wall... Maddie! The girl I work with is Maddie!
Pleased with this breakthrough I get up and go to work.
"Good morning Derek!" says Maddie. Derek! Yeah, I'm sure I knew that. Right?
Margi comes in. "Morning... a funny thing's already happened, wanna hear? You know that job last week, where blah blah blah happened and you blah blah blahhed?"
"Um, not really, no. I seem to be, sort of, missing this morning." And I started to cry.
There must have been more conversation. No idea. Next thing I know Margi's run off and sent Geoff, her husband (Geoff!) to drive me home. I don't remember much about any conversation with Geoff in the car. I do remember him offering to drive me straight to the Medical Centre but I wanted to go home first. Try to get myself at least a bit together before dealing with that.
Anyway, he dropped me home. I finished my coffee, had another cigarette and walked to the Norwood Medical Centre to see my doctor. "Need more prescriptions?" Yep. I have a few things to talk to you about today though. "OK, let's do these first..." Well, while you're prescribing, I have this rash on my hands... "*looks* I'll give you blah blah." And it's on my scalp. Half my hair's fallen out in the last couple of months, I'm pretty worried about it. "Ah, OK *looks* hmmm... yeah, I'll give you blah blah blah." Thanks, and I couldn't remember who I am this morning, or where I work, or what coffee I buy or the names of the people I work with. And I cry again.
"I think you're alright really, just suffering from stress. To be safe though, go over to that section and they'll take blood for these tests *gives me form* and then go to the other section and they'll do a CT brain scan *gives me another form*. Come back Wednesday for the results. Take time off work until then *gives me yet another form*."
So I did all that and I feel normal again now. By lunch time I felt like me and I knew what I know. So that's good. I'm writing this down in case, for whatever reason, it all goes again.
Let's see what Wednesday brings.