I made another mistake last week. It wasn’t a huge horrible mistake. But it was a mistake. I ordered the wrong books for PSL. I ordered Manage It! instead of Behind Closed Doors. Mark said, “No problem, you’ll just ship them home. Maybe you’ll even sell a few first.”
My vertigo causes me to slow down, to get confused. If I’m hungry, tired, or thirsty, it’s much worse. I work hard at making sure I’ve eaten properly, slept, and am properly hydrated at all times. No, I don’t always succeed, but I try hard. Sometimes the mistakes arise when I’m not physically at my peak. Sometimes my physical condition is moot; I make mistakes.
My vertigo also causes aphasia, meaning I literally can’t speak. The first time that happened, I couldn’t explain what was happening, because I couldn’t talk:-) I could see the words. I knew what I wanted to say. I had to take a deep breath, calm down, and slowly say each word. Now I know that if I drink some water, I have shot of getting the words out.
I have other symptoms, such as slurred words, along with my ataxic (uncoordinated) gait.
But the key is if you don’t discuss the problem, the problem has power over you. Do I want to admit I am not the same person I was before, cognitively? Of course not. Does it scare the heck out of me? You bet.
But if I don’t discuss this problem, I lose the trust of my partners, Jerry and Esther. How can they trust me to teach with them, if I can’t be honest about my abilities? We look out for each other. I need feedback from them. If I start to slur my words, I’ll expect them to tell me to drink more water. Because that often helps.
If I don’t discuss the problem, it gains power over me, and certainly over Mark and me. I allow the problem to take over our lives. We lose the ability to make decisions about what is right for us.
It’s the same for you. The bigger the problem, the more you have to discuss it. Maybe not on a public blog. Maybe not with your spouse or significant other right away. But with your doctor if it’s a health issue. Or with a trusted friend or colleague. Or with some other trusted person.
If you have a problem that can change or has changed your life, discuss it. The more you keep it to yourself, the more likely it is to blow up in your face. And then, it’s not a secret anymore.
Take the power away from whatever is undiscussable. Take the power into your hands. You are stronger than whatever the problem is. I know you are.
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