Yesterday had its challenges. New physician, time for a physical, and that means medical history questions. I’ve come a long way… it’s still hard to watch dispassionate professionalism morph within minutes to troubled compassion…then…appalled saddened dismay. It’s hard to answer some of the seemingly simple questions; the ‘when’ questions about surgeries become ‘why’ questions so easily. Questions about ‘how it happened’ easily become tears. I left my appointment really proud of my strength; I said things yesterday I’ve never been able to just say to a doctor before, and I didn’t need a tissue, just some time to breath. It felt like a A+ on a report card. It felt like an achievement. I headed home feeling… proud of myself.
I arrived home feeling something too… only… what? My traveling partner observed fairly quickly that my demeanor and tone seemed a bit ‘on edge’. I held on to some hope that I could just get past that with some small effort… and then I just didn’t. Within minutes some perfectly unimportant moment of tension, resulting from a bit of miscommunication, turned into a PTSD reaction, complicated by a disinhibiting brain injury. I fell apart – how could I… why can’t it… why doesn’t it ever seem to end…? My traveling partner caught the emotional blast head-on, and performed a heartfelt act of emotional heroism; he rolled with it and supported me with a best effort that proved to be ‘enough’. Neither of us was aware in the moment that I might be reacting to my appointment – I didn’t take time to evaluate that sort of thing until later. I was too busy trying.
My dear love’s stroke of genius – an intellectual distraction and a shared creative project – pulled me back from the brink of hysteria and rage, and along the way opened my eyes to a couple of things I may be able to use, for myself, later on (hint: there seem to be ‘lucidity’ gaps in the chaos these days; I am hoping to learn to take advantage of them). I need time to think them over before I share more. Actually – I need quite a bit of time, to think a couple of things over that I have lacked ‘the time’ to really meditate on and process fully.
My choices reflect poor self-care practices, and I need a break from a whole host of small things draining my bandwidth and my emotional resources. Specifically? I need back all the time I currently spend on digital information. It’s crept up on me over weeks and months – bad habits returning. So, I’m taking a short break from the digital empire, logging off social media accounts, distancing myself from email communication, and here, too… setting a specific expectation that I’ll be gone for a few days, taking care of me. Sort of an ‘elimination diet’ for the mind, I suppose.
Today is a good day to watch the sunrise. Today is a good day to invest in the very best self-care. Today is a good day to say ‘thank you’ to the people who support us, even when we hurt them most. Today is a good day to take a break from the world.