From the book “embracing now: pain, joy, healing, living.” 

i despise being interrupted.

when speaking my portion of a conversation;

an interruption, though well-intended,

becomes a thief breaking in

and robbing my mind.

when interrupted, i feel lost at sea.

my location isn’t easy to find.

where was that? where am i?

how do i locate myself again,

and my word again,

and my thoughts again?

an interruption becomes

the conclusion. my verbal adventure

stops suddenly. a wall appears.

another step feels impossible.

i wait and wait and wait

for an opening, for a memory, for a word.

nothing emerges.

finally, i locate another word

as a substitute.

or i ask for help. either way,

i do not like this. but

i’m learning this.

i am learning

this life—this life

of failure, of frustrations,

of dependence, of forgetting.

this life of interruptions.

this life with baggage.

this life at sea.

i’m adjusting to this life

of always knowing a seizure is possible.

this life with epilepsy.

it feels like a caution light

blinking and blinking.

do i stop or slow? do i turn?

i choose, usually, to

not frown when facing those facts.

i smile. people with epilepsy have boundaries,

but don’t all people?

yes, we need sleep

and the care of others

and sunglasses, but

all people do. we need the caution light’s reminder

of these words: be careful.

all people do.

we are unique, yet

not controlled by our conditions.

well, let’s get back to the interruptions.

words, often difficult to locate in this brain,

frequently take time to be stated.

much time.

i try.

they hide.

i try hard.

they refuse to reveal themselves.

a noun. a name of a person i know.

a verb. an action i’ve known well and long.

hidden, distant, afar: words.

i merge memories

and mingle experiences. i try.

i fail to find words.

but the process is

worse when interrupted.

let me try and fail,

then ask for a name.

don’t invade my endeavor to recall.

though, if i

sat in your seat

and listened to my weak

attempt to remember, if i

stared at a frustrated face

like my own and

craved to offer assistance,

i would interrupt. i’d bid a solution

if the situation was opposite.

i get it. but i’m helped best

when those close to me realize

they’ll never fully get it.

they just choose to endure

the wait—hearing my conversation stop,

seeing my facial expressions of frustration,

desiring to rescue me from the war of forgetfulness,

hurting with me—while hidden words merge

their appearance slowly

if at all.

give me a little time even if i request otherwise.

give me a little time even when my search engine malfunctions.

give me a little time until i can invest no more effort in the adventure

of recall.

give me time underwater. and, please,

give me your acceptance even when

my attempts to remember

or stay calm or seem normal

all fail.