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Blank Slate

16 June 2017

Let's be blunt, it's just the worst. Why did I come into this room? What was I saying again? I'm sorry, have I told you this before? What were we talking about? Ok, I need to look something up. Let me open my phone, put the pin number in, open the browser and... what was I looking up again?  Think. Think. THINK. Blank slate.  It is completely mentally exhausting. It gives the saying "hold that thought" a whole new meaning. It's such a struggle to mentally hold onto a task if it's not staring you right in the face.  You head off to go do something and repeat over and over in your mind what your task is. Telephone rings. Child interrupts. Doorbell. What was I doing again? Guess I'll just do something else until I remember.  So. Annoying.  One of the frustrating things about it is, this really is one of those "everyone can relate" symptoms. Which sounds like a good thing I suppose. Hurray! I'm understood! Well, not exactly. Yes, everyone has lost their train of thought from time to time. Everyone has walked into a room and forgotten what they went in there for. So if you try to describe it to someone, you're probably going to get the "That happens to me all the time!" response. What that person unfortunately fails to realise is their "all the time" is most likely really every once in awhile. For me, when I'm relapsing, it really is all the time. More times a day than I can remember.  Pun intended.  FocusTrying to read a book. It's the mental equivalent of trying to wade through deep mud. Did I read this page? Wait, how far back do I need to go? I'll read it again. And again. Ok, I'm retaining jack-all, and I think I lost a boot back there. There's an hour of my life gone that I'll never get back. Or how about cooking? Recipe that you've made 500 times? Yeah, better write it down. Which brings us to groceries. If you ever used to shop without a list, those days are gone my friend. As soon as you run out of something you better head to that list hanging on the fridge and jot it down.  Hope for no interruptions on your way to the fridge.  So yes, it's safe to say that blank slate is no fun. It's yet another of those "invisible symptoms" that our loved ones, friends, and co-workers probably don't know is occurring and may have a hard time understanding even if they do know.  At any rate, I'd go on, and tell you all about how many other times it's been an inconvenience, and just generally a huge pain in the butt...

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Photos by Jan Kahanek & Romain Vignes courtesy of