Where I Am Right Now

Hi, everyone, this is not a happy post. But I think a hopeful one. Maybe one I shouldn't be writing but I think I need to. Lately I've been having problems with my cognitive functioning. My greatest fear--and I bet for most writers--is the inability to think clearly.

I've been on a lot of medication the past seven months and I think it's finally taking its toll. Most of my symptoms have to do with verbal skills and short term memory. I have difficulty with word retrieval. I talk around words but never quite get to the right word I want to say. This doesn't happen in my writing--thank God--but in my speech it's almost all the time. So much so that I'm often brought to tears when I can't understand what someone says to me or try to express myself verbally or when I can't remember what I just did or...

Okay you get the idea. Trust me, I'm not writing to get anyone's sympathy. I'm just writing from where I am at the moment. Sharing what's going on. But please keep reading: There's a silver lining coming up. I promise.

A few years back I wrote a short story, Words , Words by Paul Alan Fahey that was published by JMS Books and is now free on Kindle. In the story I wrote about my greatest fear--the loss of cognitive functioning. Words tells a somewhat autobiographical story of a relationship that spans a lifetime. Two men meet, fall in love, weather infidelites, survive the AIDS epidemic at its worst, and somehow make it into their Golden Years--old age and its accompanying infirmities.

I guess what I'm wondering is this: Is life imitating art here? Maybe. But, believe me, I'm not that conceited to think of my writing as art, but as a fun thing I really enjoy doing. And I'll continue to do it as long as I can.

Okay now the silver lining I promised. I have a new story brewing; it has several, yet similar themes: The unreliability of two people in love; the ones we love aren't always who we think they are; can we ever really know "the other?" And the story will be told in the epistolary style: in letters and journal entries, etc. Trust me. This is going to happen. My mum always said I had tunnel vision. Once I started something I followed thru to the end. So...

Hopefully, the best is yet to come. Thanks for reading.


Warmly,

Paul

P.S. And if you'd care to comment I'd love that too.
9 likes ·   •  31 comments  •  flag
Share on Twitter
Published on April 05, 2017 11:42 Tags: essay-aids-creative-nonfiction, gay, lgbt, memoir, nonfiction, romance
Comments Showing 1-31 of 31 (31 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Theresa (new)

Theresa Marie Love to you Paul.


message 2: by Paul (new)

Paul Thank you so much Theresa. Right back at you. <3


message 3: by 'Nathan (new)

'Nathan Burgoine It's a terrifying sensation, especially if you've watched someone in the generation before you go through any of the various permutations. (hug).


message 4: by Paul (new)

Paul Aww, 'Nathan you're very kind. I do appreciate your words. Hugs right back at you.


message 5: by Amy (new)

Amy Hey Paul,

Cog fog is real. It sucks. We are all here to help each other. Relax if you can. The aphasia you are experiencing is excruciating, but try to remember that it does not bother anyone else as much as it bothers you.

Love to you and strength to your struggles.
Amy


message 6: by Janice (new)

Janice Paul, sending you love. You've been to hell and back. This might pass. But you know what?
We will know what you're saying. It's payback to you for always knowing what we've been saying. Love you to all the 'wiblies' in the world. Janice.


message 7: by Paul (new)

Paul Amy wrote: "Hey Paul,

Cog fog is real. It sucks. We are all here to help each other. Relax if you can. The aphasia you are experiencing is excruciating, but try to remember that it does not bother anyone else..."


Hey, Amy, thank you for commenting. Hope you're doing well. We're hanging in there. I'm getting so tired of talking about my medical problems. I'm becoming the biggest bore on earth. :) love and hugs your way. <3 P and B.


message 8: by Paul (new)

Paul Janice wrote: "Paul, sending you love. You've been to hell and back. This might pass. But you know what?
We will know what you're saying. It's payback to you for always knowing what we've been saying. Love you to..."


Hey, Janice, now that's an interesting take on the situation. Talk about making lemonade... Love and hugs back at you. Me


message 9: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Heckman Hey you. You're one of the most wonderful, amazing people I have the privilege to call friend for close to 20 years now. So there. Love love love. Keep writing cuz you're good at it.


message 10: by Chester (new)

Chester Perryess I'm thinking positive thoughts, & hoping the docs get you off the problematic meds sometime soon - or your mind figures out how to work around them. Hugs to you & Bob.


message 11: by Baxter (new)

Baxter Trautman Thanks for letting us know where you're at. I know you'll get this new WIP done and I can't wait to read it. You're a wonderful man and NEVER a bore. xxoo


message 12: by Ann (new)

Ann Epstein Interesting how the facility with words remains in your writing, even when it's impaired in your speech. I have a hunch it would be the same for me. Wonder what that says about how our brains and priorities are structured.


message 13: by Sue Mcginty (new)

Sue Mcginty Hey Paul, love you much. Getting old is a bitch.


message 14: by Paul (new)

Paul Victoria wrote: "Hey you. You're one of the most wonderful, amazing people I have the privilege to call friend for close to 20 years now. So there. Love love love. Keep writing cuz you're good at it."
I spent yesterday writing and it really does great things for the soul, doesn't it? Thanks so much, V. Sure do appreciate. I hesitated about writing that post but what the hell. It's literally where I was at the moment. Not there right now though. :)


message 15: by Paul (new)

Paul Chester wrote: "I'm thinking positive thoughts, & hoping the docs get you off the problematic meds sometime soon - or your mind figures out how to work around them. Hugs to you & Bob."

Right back at you, Charlie. I am blessed with having the best friends ever. And you are one of them.


message 16: by Paul (new)

Paul Baxter wrote: "Thanks for letting us know where you're at. I know you'll get this new WIP done and I can't wait to read it. You're a wonderful man and NEVER a bore. xxoo"

Trust me, Bax, I can bore people literally to death. :) Hugs your way. <3


message 17: by Paul (new)

Paul Ann wrote: "Interesting how the facility with words remains in your writing, even when it's impaired in your speech. I have a hunch it would be the same for me. Wonder what that says about how our brains and p..."

Hi, Ann, I spent most of my working life in higher ed trying to figure that out. But I'm glad it's not the other way round. Not sure what I'd do if I couldn't put words together on paper. Or anywhere for that matter.


message 18: by Paul (new)

Paul Sue wrote: "Hey Paul, love you much. Getting old is a bitch."

Hey, Sue, yep, it is indeed. Back at you. How is Bella doing? Hope she's getting into tons of mischief as she did in your last book. <3


message 19: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Jacksha Paul, the honesty in this is as beautiful as it is heart-breaking. In my opinion, its the ability to connect to others, heart to heart, through our writing that makes us true writers. Hang in there my dear friend. You're surrounded by a lot of love.


message 20: by Baxter (new)

Baxter Trautman Paul wrote: "Baxter wrote: "Thanks for letting us know where you're at. I know you'll get this new WIP done and I can't wait to read it. You're a wonderful man and NEVER a bore. xxoo"

Trust me, Bax, I can bore..."


Paul wrote: "Baxter wrote: "Thanks for letting us know where you're at. I know you'll get this new WIP done and I can't wait to read it. You're a wonderful man and NEVER a bore. xxoo"

Trust me, Bax,

Well, just try me! And please keep posting.



message 21: by Anne (new)

Anne Allen Paull--I empathize. I have had the same thing happen to me. I was on a drug for about 8 months that had been slowly clouding my mind with what Amy called "cog fog." I didn't even realize it was happening at first. Just a case of writer's block. Then I tried playing a game of Trivial Pursuit with my family at Christmas. I couldn't even remember the name of The Fonz! I came home and went to see the doctor who had prescribed the drug. I knew she was on it too. And she couldn't even remember who I was. I'd been through 6 one-hour visits with her and she had no memory of me.

BAM! I went home and cut those pills in half and got myself off the meds. It's been about a month now, and I've got my WIP back on track and hope to have it done by the end of the month.

Most of all, I can think again!

So I'll bet this is all temporary, after your medical ordeals. Writing on a new project will help you get your confidence back and you'll find your mind will heal itself while you write.

Have fun with the story!


message 22: by Paul (new)

Paul Barbara wrote: "Paul, the honesty in this is as beautiful as it is heart-breaking. In my opinion, its the ability to connect to others, heart to heart, through our writing that makes us true writers. Hang in there..."

Hi, Barb, thanks so much. Today is a better day. Writing my way out of some of these issues. It really does help. <3 Love Paul


message 23: by Paul (new)

Paul Anne wrote: "Paull--I empathize. I have had the same thing happen to me. I was on a drug for about 8 months that had been slowly clouding my mind with what Amy called "cog fog." I didn't even realize it was hap..."

Hi, Anne, thanks so much for the pep talk. I'm working on several writing projects this AM and feeling a lot better. Do appreciate your response and sharing your prescription nightmare with me. Hugs your way. And back to my writing. Yeah!


message 24: by Clare (new)

Clare I'm so glad you did write it, because those who love you, want to share the bad as well as the good *hugs*. My sis and i fear this daily because we saw mum struggle with it. But sometimes it can be traced to medication and/or stress - and you've had more than your fair share recently - so hopefully it will ease. And I'll love you just the same xx


message 25: by Paul (new)

Paul Clare, you are one of my bestie. Thank you so much for the words of encouragement. I think what 'Nathan said above is what scares me. When you see others go thru this kind of psychological change/stress. I spent the day writing and am doing so much better. Thank you so much and thank you for being such a good friend cross the pond. Love and hugs, Paul


message 26: by Mar (new)

Mar Preston Oh, dear Paul. My thoughts are with you.


message 27: by Paul (new)

Paul Thank you, Mar. I really miss you. Hope you are doing fine .Do appreciate your words. It's so good to have friends like you. All my love, Paul ( and Bob)


message 28: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Adamson Word fog, I have had this for years and haven't been under medication. Hopefully as you get better...I know you have been really physically drained, the mind will clear. Can't wait for the new read. Love all your work. Love you, friend.


message 29: by Paul (new)

Paul D.J. wrote: "Word fog, I have had this for years and haven't been under medication. Hopefully as you get better...I know you have been really physically drained, the mind will clear. Can't wait for the new read..."

Thank you, Diann. It's clearing. I'm working on several writing projects. The best way to clear your mind and focus. love back, Paul


message 30: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Much love to you, Paul.


message 31: by Paul (new)

Paul Thank you so much, Nancy. That old adage, what a difference a day makes is true. I'm feeling so much better and writing up a storm. Do appreciate your comment. <3


back to top