Once upon a time, I was cool… very cool. I was level-headed and I was even-keeled. I didn’t sweat the small stuff, and I hung tough, no matter what. Nothing could get to me; I was unflappable. I was the one everyone went to, to feel safe and reassured. My spouse leaned on me through all sorts of trouble, and the rest of my family, too. Even when I was a kid, my parents turned to me for reassurance in difficult times.
Then I had an accident. And I fell apart. I became wildly emotional, volatile, all over the map, and I was wrecked over every little thing. I would get bent out of shape over the tiniest things, and I’d collapse at the slightest sign of trouble.
And I had to work my way back to that place of composure, of equanimity. It took me a while, but I did it.
And then I had an accident, again…
And I had to work my way back… again.
A see-saw life of going back and forth between one extreme to the other. Tiring….
I’ve lost my composure thanks to accidents — falls, car crashes, sports injuries — a number of times. Each time, I’ve had to work my way back to being functional. I did it, but each time I had to re-do it, it seemed to take me longer and longer to get back. Case in point — back at the end of 1996, when I had a car accident that really knocked me for a loop, it took me about six months to get back to being socially fluid again. In 2004, when I fell down the stairs, it took me longer. It took me a couple of years.
I tried to explain to my neuropsych yesterday what it’s like to have all kinds of hell breaking loose inside you, and be helpless to stop it. They didn’t let me dwell on it, which is just as well, but I wonder if they can truly imagine what it feels like to watch yourself be a shadow of what you know in your heart you really are.
Lately, I’ve been in a very tight spot at work, which has not been helped by my lack of composure. I’m operating at a higher level, than before, and the pressure is on to keep my act together. I’m doing my best, but sometimes I could swear I see surprise in the eyes of the people I’m working with, when they see me start to openly sweat stuff that didn’t used to bother me.
They knew me years ago, before my last fall. They remember me being cool and collected and ultra-calm. I’m different now, than I was before, and I’m sure it shows.
Some days, I really really miss my composure. I’m working on getting it back.