The Day My Life Changed Forever


Despite the eye rolling from my daughter as I drove her to school, I cranked up the radio. I sang along, loudly…

“I turned 21 in prison doing life without parole…”

It’s Merle Haggard. I’m an Okie and I love his music; of course it is going to be loud and I’m going to be singing along. How else would I live my life?

The song ends, I turn the radio off and I get my daughter dropped off at the school. One of her teachers waved me down. I stopped and rolled down my window. She wanted to talk to me about submitting one of my daughter’s writing assignments into a scholarship program. She wanted to do it, that day, after school.

“I can’t. I have to pick up her Daddy from prison.”

I’ll give everyone a moment to say “bless her heart” or get off the floor because I know someone fell out of their chair from laughing when they heard it. Everyone composed now? Good…

Her Daddy, my husband, is not in prison. I have this affliction that causes me to, for lack of a better way to explain it, “go stupid.” It also causes extreme pain all over my body and exhaustion that would force Kris Kardashian to stop promoting all her brands.

What Was Ruining Me?

Truthfully, all the hurt and exhaustion is NOTHING compared to the “going stupid.” That is the worst. I’m an educated and fairly intelligent person. I should be able to carry on a conversation. I certainly should be able to string together “I have to pick up her Daddy from WORK” for a teacher. This was so not the case for me for too many years. And, it caused me lots of other problems.

I hated talking to people, friends, family and strangers alike, because there was no telling what I might blurt out at any given moment. When I did talk to anyone, I played the conversation over and over in my head, looking for possible mistakes and how I had embarrassed myself and didn’t even know it. The “social horror” I experienced made me withdraw from society and a lonely person.

I hated to leave the house. If I “went stupid,” I might not be able to find my way home. What if it didn’t register I needed to stop at the stop light when I was driving? I could hurt someone. Hurt my daughter. Not only did I “go stupid,” I was afraid for my safety and the safety of others.

Shopping could be an impossible task. Ever stand in the middle of the store, staring at your list, and not have any idea what to do with it? I have. Many times. Too many times to count. Did you ever pull away from a fast food restaurant’s drive-thru with an “I’m so sorry” because you didn’t know why you were there? I have to raise my hand on this one.

I couldn’t concentrate or focus. I would have thousands of thoughts racing in my head, but I couldn’t think. I even found myself moving my head around, as if I was trying to track those thoughts, as if laying eyes on it would make it be still so I could think about it.

Relationships became strained. My husband would get upset when I forgot to wash his clothes. Or pick him up from work! My daughter would cry when I made her late for band practice or a birthday party of one of her friends. I embarrassed them both when I’d “go stupid” and say something I shouldn’t or couldn’t follow the conversations of the people we were all interacting with.

I didn’t see an end to it. I had tried the most obvious of solutions – lists, wipe board schedules and alarms on my cell phone. I got creative and tried crossword puzzles, Sudoku and memory games. Then, I got desperate and tried medications. Medication was a disaster. They either made my “affliction” worse or zombified me. I slept for hours and hours, not getting any rest. Nothing worked. Time passed and it just got worse. I did the best I could, but it was only getting worse.

At The End Of The Tunnel

I finally got some help! Brace yourself – it was at our veterinarian’s clinic. He had recommended a new treatment for Maisie, my service dog, and I jumped on it for her – anything for Maisie. I went to a meeting about this treatment.

You need to know the staff at the clinic is the BEST. They were very understanding of my affliction and did their best to help me, even though I hadn’t shared much with them. This was especially true of the office manager. She just ran with whatever I said or did, unfazed and not the least bit judgmental. We became friends. She had even given me her number – “if you ever need to talk.” It was because of her I could feel comfortable in the meeting.

After this meeting, she and I talked outside. No idea why, but I, pardon the phrase, “emotionally vomited” all over her. The whole story of “going stupid” came out. I even told her about “getting my husband from prison.” Bless her heart, she heard all of it. I cried. I was both embarrassed and empowered to let everything out.

She reached in her purse and pulled out a little bottle. “I’ve got something that can help.”  She poured this thick substance on my wrist. “This helps to calm the mind,” she explained. She told me to tap my wrists together and then smell them. I did. At this point, what could it hurt?

I got in my car and started home. Suddenly, it hit me I wasn’t freaking out about what I might have said wrong. I was calm, not shaking or feeling like I was going to throw up. I pulled off the road and called her. Once again, I emotionally vomited all over her. This time, it was the happy stuff I was vomiting all over her.

Even though my mouth was going a million miles a second, my mind wasn’t. I was able to tell her I could think, I could find the right words and I wasn’t replaying our conversation in my head to find my mistakes.

Obviously, I got myself a bottle of that wonderful stuff. I use it every day. Some days, I don’t even have to put in on. I can just sniff it and be able to focus and concentrate. And, find the right words, not flipping completely out if I do make a mistake. How great is that?

I almost forgot – it didn’t stink! It actually smelled nice!

I tell people about it all the time. Yes, the whole story, sometimes in even more detail! They ask me what, exactly, it does. It “calms the mind.” It is just that simple. It calms the mind. It is for anyone who thinks. It is for anyone who needs to concentrate and focus. It is for anyone who actually uses their brain. If that sounds like you and you’d like more information, I’d love to tell you more about this wonderful bottle that will calm your mind.

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