Archives for posts with tag: TBI

It’s an interesting morning, so far. Calm. Content. “Quiet” (for some values of quiet; Kendrick Lamar reminding me to be “Humble” on headphones here). I feel very much… myself.  Gently, authentically, comfortably this one particular human being that I am. Nice. I should probably just stop right here and get on with that – it’s a feeling worth savoring. 🙂

You know I haven’t “always” been “here”, right? You can also extrapolate from the first paragraph that I am not “always” “here”, generally, right? (Otherwise, this moment is not noteworthy in any way, merely a state of being.) I begin the journey somewhere very different. 🙂 I say “begin” rather than “began” because I have grown to accept the idea that I am fairly persistently and regularly beginning again – even to stand still. To move forward, to grow, to get from a beginning to a planned end point that includes willful forward progress requires quite a bit more than simple practices and beginning again; it requires practice, beginnings, endings, letting go, reaching out, opening up, acceptance, change, choices… and so many iterations of self along the way that ancient anxiety regularly reaches out to attempt to stall me with fearful whispers that I may “lose myself” or perhaps my way, or maybe love itself will be lost as a consequence of change. It’s an illusion; the journey is always in progress, and I am always taking steps in some direction – even standing still requires effort.

I still have bad days. I still face challenges. I still cry. I still have nightmares. I still hurt sometimes. I still face fears. I still have doubts. I still feel the sting of insecurity. I still deal with loneliness. Still. That’s actually an important word here. I’m here. Still. That’s no small thing. By itself, the fact that I live is a measure of progress. 🙂 For a long while I didn’t really ‘get’ that there was something beyond ‘living’… I had to embrace just being alive before I could see over that wall at a more distant horizon – thriving. The journey continues.

Storms pass.

This morning feels different. Feels good. I’m feeling comfortably poised between emotion and reason, equally aware of internal, and external. Open to love. This is a good place to exist in this moment. I feel content, and open to changed perspective and new ideas. Is this thriving? Is it time for this journey to step beyond the familiar to new territory? I wonder…

What does a beginning look like?

…And I begin again. 🙂

I woke feeling content and smiling, and even after I reached for the alarm to shut it off and felt the unexpected (expected) pain reminding me I am not 23 anymore (or 32, or 45…), I continued to smile. The morning has been easy on me so far. No  dishes in the sink (thanks, me!). A clumsy moment sent my phone tumbling toward the toilet bowl, and in an instant of exquisite good fortune, it landed on the floor. Time feels neither stretched nor compressed, and the details of the day to come begin to assemble as an orderly thought, over my coffee.

My coffee tastes good, unusually so, and I find myself wondering if a “bad mood” can be enough to throw off flavors? Maybe this has occurred to me before, in some other moment of wonder. I am content to have the thought now, and to recognize that the sense of novelty is likely born of an injury determined to mislead me without intent. I often experience things as either quite familiar or quite new seemingly at random, and without any particular connection to whether they are new or familiar. Objects. Ideas. Faces. It can be inconvenient, to put it mildly. lol

Watching the rain fall.

This morning even my quirks of character and of mind do not distress me. I am even eager, strangely enough, to proceed with the work day. The weekend was lovely. I spent yesterday quite gently, tidying up and giving myself a manicure, reading, hanging out with friends, and watching rain showers sweep across the meadow and marsh beyond the patio door.

4 years ago, life didn’t feel like this. I smile contentedly; it is enough, this morning, to be grateful, to acknowledge change, and to move on with the morning. There have been a lot of verbs involved, and a lot of practices, and incremental changes over time (sometimes to subtle to account for in brief moments). This morning, this lovely gentle, simple, morning, it is enough to smile, and to begin again. 🙂

I ended the evening, yesterday, in pain. A lot of pain. Stiff from driving, too. I had an unexpectedly delightful day doing nothing much that was actually productive, which for being a Saturday seems just fine to me.

Yesterday. Lush and beautiful and filled with the scent of flowers, trees, and meadows.

I had a car for the day, and took advantage of that to go hang out with my Traveling Partner and a friend around lunch time. Good food, good times. I spent the rest of the afternoon smiling, driving out in the countryside, through smaller, more rural, more distant (from work) communities admitting that I know damned well I don’t want to reside in suburbia full-time forever, and realizing I am looking for a house that is too compromised for location. (Simply put; it would be worth having to drive the commute, and have that commute still be an hour-long, to come home to a little house in the countryside.) It was delightful to be sufficiently rural to stop the car and hear only breezes and birdsong, rather than the continuous low hum, buzz, and rumble of humanity’s ongoing earthbound conquest of resources. I don’t think I’m ready to live in a bus, or an RV, or a yurt… but I’m probably less removed from that consideration than I think I am. lol

By the end of that delightful day, I was in more pain than I could easily manage, and had gone from “oh, I think I like this particular compact SUV quite enough to get one…” to “damn, I am hurt – I definitely don’t want to get one of these… I need something that doesn’t cause me to feel beaten by a professional boxer every time I spend half a day driving!” I’d rather have something that feels as comfortable to me as my Traveling Partner’s car…but about half its size. lol I find myself disliking the way life seems to dangle shiny things in front of my monkey mind to go wanting for. It irritates me to want more than I need.

Last night I crashed fairly early, being quite sleepy and tired. My sleep was restless, and interrupted by one of the more terrible nightmares I’ve had in a long while. I was trapped in it, too, and unable to “lucid dream” or alter the experience in any way. “Terrifying” doesn’t go far enough, and any detailed description I could provide from the remnants that linger would simply upset me, so let’s not do that.  I found help, within my dream, from our friend’s huge white dog that I met just yesterday – unexpected to have him turn up in my dreams, but I woke this morning smiling at the recollection, with my hand dangling off the side of the bed thinking “who’s a good boy?” and wanting to pet the unseen presence that was not in any way actually there (or actually visible – it was just a moment of dream lingering as I woke).  I woke from my nightmare with no residual terror or stress, aware of where I was, and feeling safe. This is something new. He’s a sweet, but quite colossal, white dog that I find just a bit scary, myself, in spite of his genuine niceness – he’s just that big, and I just have baggage. It doesn’t surprise me, as an afterthought, that my sleeping consciousness found him to be a suitable dream warrior to call upon for help. 🙂

…So… The morning and the day start well, in spite of pain, in spite of nightmares, in spite of sleeping so restlessly. I am eager to face the day ahead, planning to give myself a manicure, do some housekeeping and laundry, and maybe spend some time in the studio, or in the garden. It’s a first-rate day to put my nightmares behind me promptly, and begin again. 🙂

 

Yesterday quickly descended into further emotional distance, and definite anhedonia. I found myself asking “the” question, too: “Am I depressed?” It had crept over me fairly slowly, then finished with a slam – the house I was going to go see, out in the countryside, went pending right about when I got in to the office. I was bummed.

There are sunny mornings.

This particular source of frustration comes up pretty regularly, and house-hunting is becoming a big downer, mostly because frustration is my kryptonite, and also because the process itself brings me into regular contact with an industry built on corruption, with little in the way of healthy pro-consumer regulation. (Seriously, I’d be pretty appalled to walk into, say, Ross and pick out a pair of jeans, carry those to the register, and have some other customer take them out of my hand, step in front of me in line, and firmly tell the cashier “I’m willing to pay more than you are charging for these, so they’re mine.” That’s hard to deal with over and over again.) I just want to go home. No, I mean, seriously, for me the entire process of house-hunting is 100% only intended to let me “go home” – to a home that is mine, that I can count on, that I can make my own and improve or change, and make more secure and comfy and safe. Having to throw regular exposure to frustration into my day-to-day experience by choice (particularly over something so heartfelt) is … yeah. Hard. Icky. Discouraging.

There are mornings that seem strangely gray.

I reached out to my Traveling Partner and let him know my weekend was upended and as a result quite unplanned. I was mostly venting, and not reaching out to change his plans. He understood – and we miss each other regardless of our plans. He suggested coming to hang out, if that sounded good to me. I was still struggling with anhedonia; nothing sounded good at all.  He helpfully prompted me to consider my experience through another perspective; my physical health. Recognizing my pain management challenges, my poor quality sleep, and the basic frustration of  house-hunting and how that affects my mood, generally, put me in a better place for the day, and I even found my to making new plans that really suited where my heart is, combining some hang out time with scouting other areas for livability, that might be good choices for future house-hunting.

Each moment, however similar seeming in some detail or another is entirely its own experience.

I committed to sleeping in today, and I did – I woke at 6:30 am feeling fairly rested. A leisurely shower felt delightful. My coffee is hot, and I feel fairly chill and merry this morning. Sleep is a very big deal.

Yesterday’s sunshine has given way to today’s steady drizzle. Fuck I hate driving in the rain. LOL Still… lovely day to enjoy a drive in the countryside, in no hurry to get to the end of the day.

A different morning, a different place, another moment to begin again.

…I guess I’ll begin again. There are verbs involved. 🙂

I am fairly certain I don’t actually “feel like” writing this morning. I’m not sure I really have anything much to say, but making that observation only causes me to wonder when I ever really do. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel down or blue, not even a little bit, just… distant? Removed? Dis-engaged? Remote. Not for any obvious reason… I’m just… coasting… on a level surface. lol

A hint of slow creeping disarray in my environment nags at me to do… something. To at least do something about the disarray itself, which is aggravating me this morning. There’s this flutter, more a deluge really, of loose papers left not-quite-piled (definitely not neatly stacked) messily on the floor near the closet – the file cabinet in which they belong is in that closet. The papers are not in that file cabinet. I have trouble tearing my eye away from them, as though drawn to a crime scene unexpectedly encountered along a walk. I don’t realize I am still staring at it… and then repeat that experience again and again. The untidy bit of paperwork is left out from filing my taxes. lol I could put that shit away. I’d simultaneously both really like to do that, and also really feel inclined to continue to ignore it in favor of doing many other things. It’s just one detail… well… no. It isn’t. There’s the mysterious stack of books… my sketchbook, some seed catalogs, garden books, a letter I’ve started to someone written on a yellow legal pad… This stack of things was on the dining table. I moved it “out of the way” a number of times; now it sits rather awkwardly on the living room floor in front of the bookcases, between the speakers… just… there. No point to it. It makes no damned sense.

There are dishes in my damned sink this morning. 😦 In fact, the dinner dishes have been in the sink each morning for days now. I start the dishes on my way out each morning, but fail to empty the dishwasher each evening, and repeat the tedious irksome cycle again the next day.

I could less this go on awhile longer without bothering to sort it out… “It isn’t that bad.” Sure. Whatever. It’s not about the magnitude of disorder, though – it is about disorder creeping in and gaining a foothold.

I find myself shaking it off, aware that there are verbs involved. I recognize as I sort through my thoughts that my lack of interest in writing is largely due to my greater urge to tidy up and put my world right. It’s just me here, so there’s no one else to blame or bitch at… and I really do enjoy a tidy living space. Making excuses about letting things go only tends to let things go longer, and make room for more excuses, and accommodate more small disorderly inconsequential messes… and eventually those grow enough to begin to connect to each other, and over time a small mess, a bit of untidiness, becomes a bigger deal, and evidence of truly disordered thinking (at least for me). Time to get a grip; summer is coming, and living beautifully feels ever so much better on terrible hot sweltering days, than being surrounded by disorder. Although, it’s not the seasons, nor the weather, that have anything to do with it at all; I’m a human primate, and I’ll make patterns, draw connections, see correlations in all manner of things that have no relationship whatsoever outside pure coincidence. lol I’m just saying, it’s time to tidy things up again – it is, in fact, clearly overdue.

Does my untidy living space negatively affect the quality of my emotional life? Or does my mental health drive the untidiness to taking over my space? Does it matter, if the quality of my life and experience improves when I tidy things up? There are, of course, still verbs involved. 🙂

Looks like it’ll be a weekend of housekeeping and tidying up. It’s time to begin again. 🙂