Dealing with Challenges

One of the things I haven’t written about lately is the fact that I’m laboring under a distinct challenge: due to the head injury I suffered a while back (2015?), I ended up with demyelinating disease. To sum it up, my memory stinks and is only going to get worse. I also ended up with some physical limitations aside from memory (speech, movement, etc.) but I’m working on those.

From what I understand, if I keep my mind active I can delay the deterioration of my gray matter. Fortunately, that is always something I’ve excelled at – if I can remember to do it.

Once I stopped feeling sorry for myself I resolved to figure out how to function despite the crappy hand Life dealt me. I tried a whole slew of methods to remind myself to do things as well as having to figure out a way to continue writing and publishing books. I have problems seeing, so I dug a spare monitor I had out of mothballs and connected it to my laptop. I can still remember how to format my books using Microsoft Word so I switched back to that program. I even dug out my ancient 11-year old laptop because it could not only connect to the larger monitor I needed to use, it ran Word.

During my desperate thrashing for a method to remember the stuff I need to do I stumbled upon Outlook. It was bundled with the ancient copy of Word that I now use to compose blog posts and write my books. I have figured out that if I put every single task in it as I think about it (or the kid points it out), then I can better keep track of what needs to be done. It even has a journaling section where I can write down the things I’ve accomplished so that I can remember that I’ve done them.

I’m still learning how to use the program but it is helping. I use it to remind me to write every day as well as to tell me when to write and schedule new posts for this website. That is how I’ve managed to start publishing once a week on a regular basis again.

I turn on that ancient laptop first thing every morning, look at the stuff I need to do, and slowly tinker on it throughout the day. I scan in any papers I need to save, logging them in that old program for when I need to retrieve them. That way I just need to run a search instead of trying to remember where I’ve (mis)placed the originals.

I’m telling you this not so that you will feel sorry for me, but so you understand that I don’t feel sorry for myself. Instead of focusing on the stuff I can’t do, I work on ways to get things done. I figure out ways to achieve my goals.

Like my father before me, who invented ingenious ways to solve the problems presented by his amputated leg, I am working out ways to take care of business and support myself despite my challenges.

I want you to remember that. I want you to know that, no matter what, that as long as you keep trying, as long as you keep working, that you can achieve anything. I also want you to understand that you won’t accomplish a damn thing if you sit on your ass and feel sorry for yourself.

If one thing fails, try another. And another. And yet another until you find something that works. Then once you figure out something that works, you use that to keep marching towards your goals.

What goals do you want to accomplish? What methods are you currently trying to achieve them? Please share your stories in the comments below.

9 thoughts on “Dealing with Challenges

  1. Tammy B.

    Annie,
    This post really hit home. My husband passed away last year and although I’m definitely not suicidal, along with him I lost my will to live. Thank you for the kick in the pants! You set a great example!

    1. Annie Post author

      I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. You have my sincere condolences. It is always hard to lose a family member, and to lose one so close..it is easy to want to give up.

      Someone told me long ago that our loved ones are never really gone so long as someone remembers them. So keep him alive in your heart and memories. That way he can continue on with you in spirit.

      Sending love and hugs, Annie

    1. Annie Post author

      And you are the reason I keep going. Thank you so much for everything that you do.

  2. Jennifer Shaffer

    Thank you for this post. I agree, you are an inspiration. I am 55 and was widowed not quite 2 years ago. It’s been tough in many ways, but now my home was just foreclosed. I am determined not to give up, and still have hopes and dreams of what I want to accomplish. I still get a bit down some days,and your post was such an encouragement. Thank you!

    1. Annie Post author

      I’m so sorry to hear about this! I know things seem bad, but whatever happens, don’t give up! Keep swimming, keep fighting. Don’t let the bad things win.

      Know that you are in my heart and my prayers.
      Hugs, Annie

  3. Carolina

    Dear Annie,

    The other commenters are right, you ARE an inpiration! I am in great awe, about the way you are handeling this huge challlenge (and your daughter too!).

    I was just wondering: is there any change whatsoever that your condition will stabalise or even improve? Is it progressive, no matter what you do?

    You and Katie are in my prayers luvvie, hang in there!!!!
    Love, Carolina

    1. Annie Post author

      Thank you Carolina! From what I understand, the brain disease will continue to get worse. However, I have faith that I can keep it at bay by keeping my mind active. That’s the plan at any rate. I did research on brain issues years ago and according to what I remember, while I might not be able to completely recover, I can help myself recover to a certain degree. I’m not sure how much at this point. I kinda told my doctors to jump off a bridge since it was obvious that they were wasting my time so I’m just winging this.

      1. Carolina

        Dear Annie, so, so, sorry about everything you are going through. With your mindset and attitude however, mountains WILL be moved. Heck, you’re moving them as we speak/write!

        Some kind of medical assistence is never a bad idea though. Though maybe from a (very) different kind of doctor..

        Wish you lots of luck with the writing, you’re stll in our prayers,
        With love, Carolina

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