What the hell happened to me?
I’ve been wondering something for awhile now. Something that really bothers me. At some point, a change happened, and I’m not certain what the catalyst was or what else was involved, but it appears to still be spiraling and I’m unsure how to stop it. I’m wondering exactly how, and when, I lost my mind….
I know that’s a saying people throw around all the time, but I’m actually serious for once. When I was a teenager, I was actually considered to be very intelligent. I know, total shocker right?! I actually qualified for all sorts of “smart kid” programs and such, but didn’t want the extra work so I turned them down. I was that kid everyone hated who had his head down and slept in class, but still managed to give the right answer if the teacher wanted to be cute and called on him. I never did homework, never took notes, never studied, and still did well on my tests.
College was similar, except that it was waaayyy easier to cut class, which I did often enough. I didn’t finish with a degree due to not being able to finish the 4th semester of a language. I could read and write it with no problems, and got A’s in the first 3 semesters, but I couldn’t speak it or fully understand when it was spoken to me if someone talked fast.
All in all, I kicked ass in whatever I wanted to. If I come off as arrogant, please understand that I’m not. I was proud of my intelligence because it was basically all I had going for me, my oasis in a desert of mediocrity.
Nowadays, I’m kind of a dumbass. I’m a little better at communicating with people socially, and I don’t get in trouble nearly as much, but at some point I lost my marbles. I have trouble concentrating or internalizing things, understanding strategies, and remembering.
My memory took a massive hit at some point, and never recovered. If I don’t write something down, it’s gone forever in a few hours or days. I can’t remember what happened last year, or two years ago. I’m told I did things a few years ago, and have absolutely no memory of it whatsoever.
I also play a lot of games. Board games, video games, etc… Problem is, I absolutely suck at strategy. I have no head for it whatsoever anymore. I used to be OK at it, now I’m abysmal. A friend of mine is teaching his 6 year old daughter how to play chess, and I’m probably going to be the sacrificial lamb who gives her the first win of her career….and I won’t be throwing the game.
Now I know you may be thinking “well he probably did enough drugs in high school in college to kill Keith Richards, and give Charlie Sheen permanent brain damage.”. I didn’t. Sure, I smoke a bit for about 10 months or so in high school, and a little more later in my 20’s, but not enough to ever be considered a stoner, and certainly not as much as some of my friends did.
I have 2 possible theories to explain this. First, a few years ago I began suffering from panic attacks. I went through a really shitty time, and for about 2 years I had to be on medication. While, ironically, I don’t remember the side effects, I’m pretty sure that any psych drug can effect your melon permanently.
Second, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Let’s face it, I’m not exactly in a field where being a genius is required. Like anything else, I just have to know my job. Notes and documentation really helps with that.
So who knows what happened. I sure as fuck don’t. I just hope that I can find a way to take the steps forward and reclaim what was once mine. Otherwise, I’ll just be one of those sad old fuckers who constantly says “Oh you should have seen what I was like in High School! I was incredible and the epitome of perfection and excellence”, while struggling to figure out how to dress my self without dislocating a joint….