I lose words more than I lose my car keys…and they’re harder to find too. I think conversations with me are more like a game of charades than actual conversations. I’m sure it frustrates those I’m talking too as they try guessing the word I’m fumbling around in search of. It can become quite comical too as I point, make hand motions and slap my leg in an attempt to help the process along.
ME: Can you hand me…? [as I point across the room]
FRIEND: uhhh…a pen? a glass of water?
ME: No [as I tap my thumb to my finger in a pinching motion unable to even describe what I’m trying to say. I sit in silence making hand gestures in hopes it resonates with her.]
FRIEND: Nail clippers? Scissors? Paperclip?
Minutes pass and all I’m trying to say is “Can you hand me the TV remote?” Simple, right?
Not being able to communicate can be frustrating. I do much better in writing. There’s nothing worse than trying to get your point across or share a meaningful moment with someone while losing the thought you where trying to share. Sometimes my attempt in describing a word takes so long that I actually forget the thought I had in the first place. It takes skill to keep me on topic. A skill I’m not always very good at.
Yesterday, I could tell my words were getting stuck and mixed up more than usual. When that happens, I have a tendency to not speak as much. I just don’t want to frustrate people…or myself.
You know how people say to pick and choose the arguments you get in. Well, I pick and choose each conversation I have as well. So if I choose to share a thought with you, it’s going to mean something because I chose to break out of my silence in order to chance a good flow of words.
I have noticed that the more frustrated I get, the more my words get stuck. The trick for me is to stay calm and not allow my mind to wander. That may mean I talk slower, talk more direct, or use shorter sentences. But that’s just my way of coping and working with my disability. It keeps me from getting overwhelmed. I say what I have to say and move on.
When you find yourself getting lost in a world of words, know that it’s okay. You’re not going crazy and you definitely aren’t alone. There’s an entire population of us hand gesture, charade playing, word searching MSers out there. Take a deep breath and have some fun as you turn your conversations into a game of Guess What I’m Saying. Laughing always makes things better.