I’m interpreting so many mistakes I make in light of the dementia: typing mistakes, skipping words when I write, forgetting where I put stuff. In the past, I have sometimes used my diagnosis of depression as an excuse to avoid things, to pull back from life’s challenges. I don’t want to repeat that mistake here by interpreting everything through the eyes of this illness.
For instance, I’m scheduled to give a talk to a big audience at the International Street Medicine Conference. I’ve been more anxious than usual. It’s not so much the speech itself; I’ll write that out ahead of time and have Fred Taylor and Maria Barker read it carefully. It’s the question-and-answer session afterward and the later conversations with interested people that precipitate my anxiety.
So should I push myself regardless of the anxiety as a way of keeping my mind sharper? Or should I remove such stress from my life?
I’ve already decided not to take any more of the large speaking assignments, though. The level of anxiety is greater than I want to handle. I’m okay now but will I be okay in three months to give a speech? Will I feel too much pressure to continue against my better judgment?
The more difficult question is whether I should cancel the classes I teach or should I wait until the diagnosis becomes obvious to other people? Should I resign from my position as the bookkeeper at Eighth Day? The questions are all a jumble now; I think I’ll wait to decide those things, but it’s unclear.