It’s weird. One day you wake up in a bed in one place. And the next day, a whole other place.
The refrigerator’s in a different location. The stove, bathroom, closet.
Everything’s changed in a blink of an eye.
Not unexpectedly. It’s a natural phenomenon of moving.
And every move, no matter how desired or needed (or otherwise), brings one universal truth: Adjustment.
It’s an adjustment to learn a new place and space. I should know. This is move number 53 or thereabouts.
My nerves are overwrought. On fire. Stretched razor thin. At the moment, I feel “relaxed.” Only because external stimuli — namely the grating, perpetual and bad energies from the now FORMER — I’m thrilled to announce! — upstairs neighbors are behind me.
They’re behind me but not processed. In a heartbeat, this current “relaxation” — again, merely a cessation of extremely stressful external stimuli — could turn into massive irritation at the smallest thing.
This is what is called: OVERLOAD.
And I am: Overloaded. Overstressed. Running on adrenaline and overdrive and overexhaustion.
But I’m NOT Drunk.
And I’m NOT on a boat. What is happening???
Something happened yesterday morning. Something that scared the living bejesus outta me. Something I’ve never encountered. Or even knew about until I explored / researched online:
A vestibular migraine.
I get migraines. Starting around 2008-9. Not unsurprisingly given my presence in the bawd-awful Pacific Northwest at the time!
Anyhow, fast-forward to now and me in Arizona.
This move, officially completed yesterday, has taken a toll on me like no other. How many did I say there’re been, like 54?!
It’s not merely the move, one of life’s Top 5 Stressors, humankind agrees.
It’s the past 9 months as a whole. The former upstairs neighbors, chiefly the motherfucker. A word I don’t use lightly or often. But when the thug holster (his) fits …
So altogether, conditions were ripe for a major health crisis. Degradation. Breakdown.
That was my experience in that apartment. Back to yesterday morning, my last in that space.
I rolled outta bed. Actually my camp cot. My bed was already in the new place.
And about collapsed onto the floor.
I felt drunk. And as if walking on a rolling ship. Simultaneously.
Except: I hadn’t touched any liquor for a week! And the ground under my feet was cement and earth.
I tried to walk across the studio. And couldn’t. Not in equilibrium or balance.
I gripped the edge of the kitchen island. Bowed my head. Kept eyes on the floor. For if I lifted my head to normal walking posture or turned it even a little to the side, it set of extreme disequilibrium and nausea.
That was the other aspect so frightening: extreme nausea. I actually wanted to throw up. To feel better.
I couldn’t even consider making morning coffee. I forced myself into a shower hoping that’d make me feel better. Still, head bowed, looking at the floor. Not turning the head sideways.
And the Unrealness I experienced! Oh my god. Nothing felt real. Thoughts weren’t my thoughts. I had no thoughts. I could remember my name. Yet it meant nothing. Nothing meant anything.
It was as if a cold chill had blown through my brain and removed every semblance of human thought. It’d left nothing but an Unrealness and numbing sharp pain across my skull. Particularly at the back around the neck, temples and behind the eyes.
A total disconnect. And pain. Recognized only by migraineurs.
The Fall. The Surrender.
The shower didn’t help me function. I had so much still to do. This is Day of Departure from henceforth is short-named the Apartment of Others’ Hellfires.
Also I had a meeting to attend.
My legs like rubber. The ship that wouldn’t stop rolling side to side. Nausea bordering on vomiting. Extreme vertigo. Was I having a stroke? Dying? WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?
The EXTREME stress for 9 months and an exhausting move, lack of sleep, etc. etc. finally and truly caught up to me.
It made me fall to the floor.
I surrendered to a cry. A human cry. I lay collapsed on the carpet.
The cry: “Rest. Let me rest. Let me sleep. Just 20 minutes.”
My body — nee, my brain — begged for them. Begged for what had been deprived too much and too long.
I let myself zone out. Kept worrying about missing my meeting in case I fell into the sleep so craved so I set the timer on the phone.
It was the first and only dose of “rest” I’d had since the nightmare reached critical mass, two months ago.
I reminded myself to breathe. The last time I took a breath was July 1, when the search for new digs began.
Flat on my back, head on the ground, at least the room wasn’t rocking. And my legs weren’t rubber.
Rising. Because I Had To.
Soon enough, the meeting forced me to rise and get going. I did so. Slowly. I was concerned about driving since turning my head exacerbated the nausea and dizziness.
However, those 20 minutes crashed onto the carpet had helped calm but not extinguish the symptoms. Of what I know now is a vestibular migraine.
I took care driving and got where I needed to be. I managed through sheer will to get the last of my apartment into boxes. Etc. Etc.
A vestibular migraine, like all migraines, is a neurological disorder.
Everyone’s migraine triggers are unique. This whole idea that red wine, chocolates, cheeses trigger migraines is bullshit.
Triggers are as unique as the migraineurs.
Mine chiefly is lack of sleep. Degraded sleep. And stress.
Hello: vestibular migraine.
Of course, this is “speculative.” I’ve not been to a physician. Had a brain scan, MRI, blood test or anything else.
However, based on my own research — at which I excel — my experience corroborates with vestibular migraine.
Add a new entry into my Health History. Wheeeee!!
Like Drink, Migraines Too Have Their Hangovers
The migraine hangover was quite intense. Sharp pain in the head. Extreme irritability at the tiniest stressor or external stimuli.
I crashed early (11.30 p.m.) and I crashed hard.
This morning, I awoke in a new place.
Just like that. In seemingly the blink of a eye, a snap of the fingers.
Thank GOD Sara & Yairo are behind me.
Thank GOD I am free of that motherfucker and his mousy girlfriend.
Thank GOD, too, that I discovered the toll that extreme unceasing stress can and will take on a body and mind.
It took a vestibular migraine and fall onto the floor to make me stop moving moving moving moving moving moving.
The same way it takes a heart attack to make an overworked company president stop moving moving moving moving moving.
I’m not invincible, even though I think I am and have been forced to BE so through an exceptionally hard life.
Just like that: My old space is behind me.
And I awoke today in a bed I recognize and know in a room unrecognized and unfamiliar.
I’m blessed to be outta the old place.
Welcome to another Move Approximately No. 54.
Welcome to a new space.
Welcome to a new chapter.