Prefix Trouble

Prefix Trouble

Forgive my silence but I haven’t been myself lately.

Either that or I have been too much of myself.

Whatever triggered the latest round of phobic anxiety has needed extra time and energy to root it out.

With any chronic condition, sometimes we fall. Sometimes I fall hard, on my face, in a pit. While picking myself up and brushing the detritus clinging to my neurons and knees, I surveyed the damage and calculated the depth of the pit in which I had found myself. And I looked around for the misstep that caused me to trip.

And in that misstep I found a lot more of the prefix “mis”.

Misplaced loyalties. Having the misfortune of being misused. Feeling misplaced. People who should have known me well miscast me and the role didn’t fit. I became misshapen.

Feeling like a misfit, I mistrusted myself and others. We misjudged each other. Maybe I misbehaved. What else could I do? I’m human and make mistakes.

But even my sincerity was misinterpreted and occasionally I was accused of a misdeed. When my intentions were misconstrued I became miserable.

Then the neurons started misfiring.

I misinterpreted the first signs of Tourette trouble. I reasoned it was misapplied stress, that’s all. My brain was miscalculating and I misled myself into thinking it was just misguided but would eventually find its own way out of the pit.

That was a mistake.

I began to mishear and misunderstand. I mistook harmless situations to be dire circumstances. I was afraid.

This gaping Tourette hole was deep and the prefix “mis” is innately negative. I needed a helping hand to claw my way out.

It’s not an easy thing for me to find a Doctor for two reasons:

Reason 1: My Good Doc, who I love and trust and who has known me since I was eight years old and treated me like a whole person instead of a collection of unrelated parts, is back East. And no one is My Good Doc.

Reason 2:  I’m terrified of doctors.

My husband came with me and held my hand because I was afraid of being misdiagnosed and mistreated. I met My New Doc and poured out my heart and history.

And he looked at me with kindness in his eyes and treated me like a whole person. He took a pen and paper and illustrated my brain and its waves and neurotransmitters. Then he gave me medicine and strategies of which My Good Doc would approve.

To battle the innately negative prefix “mis” I’m asked by My New Doc to think of three things I’m grateful for before I open my eyes in the morning. I’m not one for touchy-feely therapy but in the interests of rewiring neurons I agreed to give it a try.


A theme has arisen from the countless grateful thoughts I’ve had. Would you like me to share?  Of course you do:

1) Something to believe in
2) People to love
3) Single malt whiskey
4) Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
5) Great stories

So I have concluded that the best way to avoid the next misstep and the prefix “mis” altogether is to make sure I spend time immersed in a great story on the subject of what I believe in the most, told in the company of the people I love over a brilliant single malt whiskey while Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers play in the background.

And in the words of Mr. Tom Petty himself, that’s “good enough for me…good enough for right now, yeah…”




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