Just stay safe

Source: Peter Kaminski

Little alarm bells have  been going off in the back of my head, lately. I am at the kind of place in my life that previously has resulted in a number of mild traumatic brain injuries:

I’m tired. I’ve been (over)tired for months, now, as I’ve been looking for a new job and going through the process of interviewing.

I’m anxious. Money is tight, and I am starting to get nervous about this new job.

I’m behind on my chores. Bills are outstanding. I’m behind in my yardwork. I need to make some repairs to the house, but I can’t seem to get started.

I’m rushing and pushing and overdoing it. I am driving a lot more, these days, than usual. I am also driving when I am tired — but jazzed on caffeine or amped up on adrenaline from anxiety and nerves. I have been drinking more coffee than I would like. And eating more cheap, crappy carbs which make me feel like crap and stress me out.

I’m desperate to keep it together. I so want to do a good job with this new position. I don’t want to start out on the wrong foot. I’m stressing about it, worried I’m not going to keep it together. Already, I’ve had some discussions with the HR folks about some questions I have about the legal aspects of the job, and I’m not sure I’m coming across as someone who has half a brain. I’m trying a little too hard. I feel like I’m already behind.

But I can’t give in to that feeling. “It’s a feeling, not a fact,” as one of my alcoholic friends used to (annoyingly) tell me. I need to find a way to enhance my tonic arousal and keep myself alert and awake without using cheap carbs and caffeine and stressors that pump me up with adrenaline.

Right now, my main priority is literally keeping myself physically safe. I can’t afford to have another TBI. I’m not being paranoid — I am living in conditions that are very similar to ones that occasioned my past accidents, and it’s making me even more nervous than I already am.

I need to chill out. I need to not overdo my schedule, to the point where I can’t  pay attention while I’m driving, or I fall down the stairs, or I slip and fall, or I run into something. I need to stay extremely present in my life, right now, just focus on the most basic things, when I’m not doing my job. Keep things very, very simple. Don’t complicate life any more than it already is. Just focus on keeping my balance – literally – and be very, very aware of what and when I eat, and how late I stay up at night.

This is so incredibly boring for me, I can’t even say.  I’m not in the mood to pay attention to staying upright/vertical. I know I’ve talked about the unbearable fulness of being before, but tonight I’m not in the mood to take good care. I’m not in the mood to cook real food and eat on a regular schedule. I don’t want to pay attention to how much money I’m spending, and whether my clothes are clean. I want to run around like a chicken with my head cut off, bouncing from one frantic activity to another, racing around at top speed, zipping up and down the highway, careening from one appointment to the next. I don’t want to have to stop and consider, to ponder, to assess. I don’t want to analyze and examine.

I’m whining, I know, but that’s how I feel. I’m tired. And I’m a little concerned about my state of mind. I’m starting a new job on Friday, and I need to take care of myself. Get more sleep. Eat right. Quit eating all that sugar, already.

Speaking of taking care of myself, let me stop writing, already. I’ve got to get to bed. Early. Sensibly.

I can do this.

I can keep myself safe, in one piece.

I can do this.

Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

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