The alarm beeped at me for some time. I was sort of confused about where the noise was coming from, initially, shutting it off was not a reflection of greater clarity of thought. I groggily rushed through showering, dressing; I really wanted to get to the part of the morning with coffee in it.

Finally. Coffee.

I sit staring blankly at the computer screen, warming my hands on the my coffee cup. I sit this way, nothing much on my mind, for some while. Longer than I expected to, longer than I realized I did – it doesn’t count as meditation. My brain is idling. I’m still not entirely awake yet. I fidget a bit. Sip my coffee. Let my consciousness drift awhile longer. It is morning, and the morning is mine. It’s not even a unique or rare experience; this is often the sort of morning I am having when I don’t write at all. 🙂

Some minutes later, I realize I’m stalled, again, just sitting here, thoughts adrift. I take some deep breaths and stretch. I get up, do some yoga. I open the patio door and gaze out into the dawn sky, sucking in the cool morning air, exhaling with a sigh. I feel sluggish. Groggy. Definitely still not awake yet. “More coffee?” I ask the gray dawn sky.

Mornings like this one have been complicated by shared living arrangements in the past; I’m barely a functioning adult right now at all, communication and consideration of the needs of another human being would be quite difficult this morning. I realize with some surprise that I haven’t brushed my hair, or brushed my teeth. I get up and do those things. I give thought to a more usual morning and step through bits and pieces of my wrecked routine that got overlooked on this one. Slowly, with some effort and another cup of coffee, I begin to really wake up.

This isn’t all that interesting, I know. It’s a fairly roundabout way to say “these things take time” and “your results may vary”. My most serious TBI is about 40 years old… next on the list is 30 years or more. I’m fuzzy on specific dates, without looking them up. (Who’m I kidding? I’m fuzzy on lots of stuff – especially this morning!) My PTSD has been with me a very long while, too. Go easy on yourself when you’re having a hard time! Healing takes time, improvements can be so small as to seem imaginary, and in both cases more so if you’re unclear on what might help, or where to start, or haven’t actually begun that journey quite yet. Healing is a journey – sometimes a damned long one. I’m still on it – totally not “there” yet. It’s not even reliably all forward momentum; there are setbacks, pauses, moments of doubt – and more than occasional groggy mornings. Still… incremental change over time is a real thing. I’ve learned to count on that. I’ve learned to begin again, and to be patient with myself.  Any improvement is still an improvement. We become what we practice.

My calendar says I am scheduled to get my hair cut today. Over my shoulder I notice that I’ve left dishes in the sink from last night – rare – also, how did I not notice that while making two different cups of coffee an hour apart?? My momentary frown eases into a tolerant smile. Very human. I run my fingers through my hair with a sigh, smiling as I remember with some appreciation that I did remember to brush it. There are practices yet to practice, this morning. I’m starting to wake up.

Today is a good day to practice the practices that have proven to be most effective in my own experience, and today is a good day to trust myself to take the very best care of the woman in the mirror. We’ve come a long way together, she and I. I get started on the dishes; I won’t want to come home to them.