#draftsgiving inspired by @BWN_7 and because this is only way I can't participate in your thanksgiving 🦃📃
  1. When I was 18
    I had a medical event that doctors were never able to diagnose. My symptoms resembled that of a stroke but it wasn't. I was only told that this could happen again or maybe not. I had partial paralysis, loss of vision and speech. I don't recall how long this lasted.
  2. I laughed
    I didn't know what was happening and what else can you do when you suddenly have to crawl up stairs to get help? I found it all ridiculously hilarious for some reason.
  3. I lied to my neurologist
    During tests and investigations I never admitted what functions were affected. They were focused on pain and I was focused on not having to acknowledge that there would be some long term effects and the possibility of brain surgery. I was 18 and terrified so I lied and said I was fine.
  4. Cognition
    After it happened I was in my first year of University and I was committed to making it through. Things were already hard but trying to hide new failings and to figure out a new way of learning was consuming. It took longer for me to understand concepts, I had to re-read pages of texts. I eventually figured out what I was doing in my third year.
  5. Speech
    My speech was never quite the same. I stumbled for words, I used the wrong words even though my brain knew the right ones. I was angry at myself and I spoke less to avoid anyone noticing it. My TAs would ask me why I wouldn't speak, I said I would try. I never did.
  6. My Short-Time Memory
    I almost immediately forget things. I'd like to say that this has gotten better but I think I'm just finding ways of deflecting. "I'm sorry but can you repeat that?" People now assume I have a hearing problem, though.
  7. Infinite Jest
    Two years later I started reading Infinite Jest. I immediately put the book away as it was terrifyingly similar to my own experience. I still don't know if I could open that book again.
  8. I didn't attend my convocation
    I say I'm not one for pomp and circumstance but I felt that I fucked up and I didn't want to celebrate it. This wasn't how things were supposed to go and from that moment I told myself I wasn't going to have expectations on what should or shouldn't happen.
  9. This is where the draft ends. I don't know what else to say and that's why it had been sitting in my drafts for many months.
    Sometimes it's okay that things remain unfinished, I suppose.
  10. Updated:
    I honestly don't know if these are perceived side-effects or real. I'm okay, real, I do speak now and my memory isn't the most reliable. It was a period in my life that I had to figure out how to navigate and I did what I always did, try to go it alone.