A terrible affliction, similar in symptoms to Restless Leg Syndrome, but happening in my head. See below (accommodations for “brain” vs “leg” are in green):
RBS leads to sensations in the brain between the ears. The feeling makes you uncomfortable unless you move and change position and situation. These sensations:
- Usually occur at night when you lie down, or sometimes during the day when you sit for long periods of time
- May be described as creeping, aching, pulling, searing, tingling, bubbling, or crawling
- May last for 1 hour or longer
- Sometimes also occur in neck, shoulders, back, gut, or anywhere else you carry stress
You will feel an irresistible urge to walk, run, or run away, which almost always relieves the discomfort, albeit temporarily.
Most patients have rhythmic brain movements during sleep hours, often called dreams.
All of these symptoms often disturb sleep. Symptoms can make it difficult to sit during air or car travel, or through classes or meetings.
Symptoms may be worse during stress or emotional upset.
I don’t know if this is a temporary affliction or if it is the beginning of a Great Unsettling. But I have this underlying fidgety feeling that I can’t shake. I am trying to come up with a solution – one that is reasonable, workable, affordable and won’t completely upheave my life and those lives close to mine.
In other words, I am not packing up and moving to Mexico any time soon.
My life is very good – of course there is the issue of the ex that causes things to be less than ideal. That and the money thing (wishing I had more). But I have great friends, lovely community, a job I actually enjoy, basic good health and the most fabulous kids ever.
What more could a gal ask for?
Apparently there is something out there that is missing because my brain twitches all night long, disturbing my sleep and sometimes making it difficult to sit through meetings during the day.
It could be a lot of obvious things: like, it’s winter.
I have been inside a lot – running an infirmary/refugee camp. I haven’t gotten any exercise to speak of this winter but skiing hasn’t done it for me this year and when I try to run in the snow, I just fall down. It has been cold and icy and my pain has flared dramatically. It’s dark. Also, I’ve been working more than ever, limiting already limited “me” time. I am broke. I haven’t left town or had an adventure in 100 years. I’ve cancelled two trips due to my ex-husband’s lameness. And, there have been some pretty serious ongoing issues with said ex.
I can look at the list above and reason through this season of discontent, but I’m not sure that the brain is going to stop bubbling, creeping and tingling just because the sun comes out and I go for a run.
This feels bigger than that. Usually when these feelings arise, I can say, “Well, I have had some glorious days in the woods on my skis” or, “At least we had a great trip to Idaho.”
I’ve got nothing. Or almost nothing. I have to say I have some fabulous person-to-person stuff swirling in my life at the moment.
Years ago, my friend N said, “Did you ever just know that you are supposed to be famous?” As everyone else shook their heads, mine said quietly, just to me, “Well, duh, yeah.”
I’m not sure fame and fortune is exactly what my destiny is, but I do think there is something bigger or more or grander (is that a word?)
So, two dilemmas to trying to answer that question:
The first and most obvious: “What is it that I am meant to be doing and how do I figure that out?”
And the second: “How do I “go big” without sacrificing the things in my life that are already grand?”
I don’t want to just pick up and move – although my parents’ new Florida residence is sounding 1,000 times more than appealing, at this point in the winter. There is no reason in the world why I would think that I would ever find friends, anywhere that could compare to the ones that I have here – it has taken 16 years to cultivate these relationships – not going to find anything even remotely similar any time soon, anywhere else.
School is a thought – but of course, if I go to school, I want to get a Master’s Degree, not just take a few classes and I want that degree to be from Iowa’s writing program. I can’t swing it, don’t live in Iowa and don’t really want to live in Iowa. Plus, I never took a single writing class for my bachelor’s and only one english class – not sure I’d even get in to a Master’s program, regardless of my glaringly obvious and unmatched talent.
But what do I want to do with a degree anyway? It’s not like I have some fantastic career goal that requires a Master’s to achieve.
New job? Might make more money somewhere, but would I feel as if I am in the right seat on the right bus as I do now?
I’m starting to ramble – the twitching that goes on inside my head is oozing out onto the page here. I don’t need to do that.
What I really want, more than anything, is to figure out how to make a (decent) living with the one talent I have – laying down the written word. I don’t want to be a journalist and I definitely don’t write fiction so The Great American Novel is not an option.
I see it as the perfect solution because I could be anywhere doing it – Florida or Mexico or Colorado. If I could support myself and my children with it, then I could have more freedom for adventure or at least take a run during the day instead of being tied to my desk during daylight hours.
I could hopefully “go big” without giving up any of those things that are so wonderful in my world today.
Existential angst? Seasonal Affect Disorder? Restlessness of a brilliant mind (HA!)? Immaturity? Inability to be content in the present? Delusional?
Who knows. All that I am sure of is that I am not sleeping peacefully, I drink coffee and stare at the wall with the nagging feeling that I am missing something (not missing out, but missing in that way that something is right in front of me and I have yet to see it.) My brain wanders in search of greater challenge and stimulation and I feel a little bit trapped at the moment.