Such a headache

Holy crap, I have a headache. It feels like a vice is pressing in on both temples, and my eyes hurt. I’m sick to my stomach. I have felt like this since early this morning. Probably all the pressure I’m putting on myself over what may or may not happen on Monday when I give my notice.

Silly. I have given notice at past jobs a bunch of times, and rarely has it been pleasant. But I always got through it. Once, I gave notice to a real jerk who had me in a very important position and was seriously hindered by my leaving, but that individual was an unethical creep who was in constant violation of official and unofficial ethical codes — both within the company and without. The really sad thing was, they were in a senior position, so they were unassailable. Powerful. They knew I could report them, and they used their power to intimidate me. The weird thing was, I was actually the one with the power, but I didn’t realize it then.

I think the same thing holds for my current situation. All too frequently, I think I have no power, when I’m the one who has the most.

It was a huge relief to get away from that creep. I saw them on television years later, at some security training presentation that was on public television. There they sat, all smug and sh*t, with their clueless spouse beside them. My stomach turned, when I saw them, and I was glad that I had left. Even if I was once worried about them retaliating at me. They never did.


I think part of what is upsetting me about my present situation is the idea that it might harm my future prospects if I leave this job right now. I’m afraid that there will be backlash and it will get ugly, and I will not be able to keep myself from fighting back when I feel like I’m being attacked. I’m pretty much on alert, right now, and I am feeling like I’m under attack, even though it is the thoughts in my own head that are attacking me – and giving me a headache.

I need to calm myself down, so I don’t escalate with the wrong people.

As you may be able to tell, I have invented a whole scenario in my mind about “how things will turn out”… and it’s not good.

So, enough of that.

I need to focus on what truly is — making up my list of activities for my new employer, so they don’t consider my existing side projects to be part of their intellectual property… working on a bunch of slides for a presentation I’m giving to a local community group in another week and a half… taking care of household business… and staying healthy and happy all the while.

Maybe — just maybe — I am making myself out to be more important at my current job than I really am. Maybe I am just inventing this whole scenario about me being indispensable. Nobody is indispensable. At least, they shouldn’t be. I have no idea how things will turn out, I have no idea what the reactions at work will be. It could be that people are expecting my resignation on Monday, and they already have a contingency plan in place.

It could be.

Rather than focus on the maybe’s that are bad, why not invent some maybe’s that are good? And focus on them.

Maybe that will get rid of this headache.

I did manage to lie down and take a nap for a few hours, earlier. That was good. I’m also reading some books — “Psycho-Cybernetics“, which is a self-improvement classic… “Overachievement“, which is a new book about how to achieve top performance in unconventional ways… “A Benjamin Franklin Reader“, which is a collection of his writings and stories from his live… and some other books about money and power. And brains. And samurai legends.

I’m also reading a scientific paper on how perceived mental effort will wake you up — basically, if you believe a task is difficult, your “tonic arousal” (temporary state of wakefulness in your brain) will improve. So, that’s my new approach to getting boring sh*t done without screwing it up — tell myself it’s really, really hard, and it’s going to take a lot of mental effort to do it, so then my brain kicks into gear and gets with the program.

I’m starting to feel better, actually.

I should go juggle… but I’m still pretty sore from all the juggling yesterday.

I should probably stretch, as well, and get the kink out of my neck, which has been paining me for months. I’m sure that’s not helping the headache.

I’ve been doing some dual n-back training on and off over the past couple of days, and I have to say, the 3-back training is all but IMPOSSIBLE for me to do. I get maybe 1/3 – 1/2 of the questions right. It’s very discouraging, because I want to be at 100%, and I’m not. I think that is contributing to the headache, too. So, I’ll give that one a rest, even though I do want to think better, and I feel like it is helping me.

I need to rest. I really need to rest — so that I can be strong on Monday.

With regard to the dual n-back training, I think the best thing for me to do is hold the reins myself — always use the manual controls and work on specific areas of performance to improve a few main things:

  • reaction/response time – increase and decrease the time I need to respond in
  • number of pieces of information I retain – vary that from session to session
  • different combinations of sound, color, position, and shapes – target different mixes to keep myself sharp

I need to start in very specific ways and work my way up, not just use the generic settings in the program. That’s just maddening, and it’s not giving me the kind of precision training I want to get. I’ll talk to my neuropsych about what areas would be good to improve. I know that processing speed is one of them, as well as the number of items I can keep in my head at any given point in time. I could really play with that — set the response time to really long, and have a handful of different elements to remember each time. There are an infinite number of possibilities here, so I need to make the most of it. On my terms.

My frustration with the program is not helping my headache. So, I’ll do something about that.

But most of all… Take a break. Get myself a big glass of water. Do some stretching and movement. Maybe juggle a little bit, but not too much.

Balance. Relax. Take care of a few things that need to be done. Quit stressing over what has not happened yet — and may never happen.

And enjoy the rest of my Saturday afternoon. As well as my Sunday to come. It’s Mother’s Day. I’ll need to call my Mom.



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.

2 thoughts on “Such a headache”

  1. Stress…ugh…a number one causation of most all HA’s…step one….STOP EVERY THING! deep breathes in and out for 3 sets and count slowly tp 5 as you go. step two…realize you can’t do it all right now!..step three…take something for the ha itself, take magnesium supplement after checking with your doc, it helps with the headaches. Look how far you have come, Look at all you do…we all have the days, weeks, months, et. al. And please, do not go to your doc and say how good you are doing, as I did, and she told me how great the blood work-up and physical being as weii as the mental and emotional side was doing…this was on Thursday before Easter. The very next morning, had not even changed out of my pj’s, i reached out to plug in something, good ole mr vertigo decides to set in, and i felt myself slipping into blackness…I awoke to the most ear splitting screams..only to realize it was me making all that commotion, and was laying on a heap on the floor and was not moving…Go forward two hours, ER visit, and the doc comes in to inform me and my husband I was the proud owner of a broken humerus, in the shoulder ball socket end. Pumped full of narcotics, I glumly nodded as he told me to see the ortho doc Monday, never realizing it was Easter weekend, and oh joy, all the offices are closed, had been given no additional pain meds cause I am in treatment by a pain clinic for my fibro/hip/back/pain/degenerative discs, and oh yes …those pesky 2 TBI’s…So relax, deep breaths, cool glass of water, While I am tied up with my arm in an immobilzer, in this 89 degree weather, until at least after Memorial Day AND THEN…..we will see if it is healing as the doc wants, or we are facing surgery..but I am hoping for none..practicing my mindfull willingness..I hope??? All this to say…HANG IN THERE! A BETTER DAY IS COMING…AND HAVE A GREAT MOTHER’S DAY!


  2. Wow – sorry to hear all that happened to you. I have a physical coming up with my doctor this coming Friday, and I will make sure to check in with them. A broken humerus in the shoulder ball socket is no fun. Sorry you are going to be tied up in healing till after Memorial Day. I have actually had some good results from taking Arnica — it is a homeopathic medicine which comes in little pills or in an ointment. It is supposed to help bones and bruises heal. Some people are very critical of homeopathic medicine because of how it is supposed to work, but I have had good results with the ointment, and I know people who have had good results with the pills. It will not affect your other regular meds, as I understand it, so you might be able to use that in addition to your other meds. I use the ointment a lot on bruises, and I also used it on my toe when I dropped something heavy on it and I was pretty sure it was broken — or at least cracked/fractured — and despite all the telltale signs of a break – limited mobility, pain in the bone area, a little bruise where I believe the bone cracked/broke – it’s good as new now, 4-5 months later. I cannot even tell from moving it, that it ever got hurt, and I’ve broken toes before, so I know how it feels to break one and have it still healing.

    It sounds like you are dealing pretty well with your adversity, so congratulations (for your outlook) are in order. Things are what they are, and even the crappiest experience has some redeeming qualities to it, so look for the good, and make the most of that. I personally would love to be able to limit my activities till after Memorial Day — but not due to adversity — so you have a great excuse reason to do a bit less, stress a bit less, and focus on other parts of your life.

    Of course, it’s going to be painful and awkward and uncomfortable and frustrating at times, and people around you may get resentful at needing to pick up the extra slack, but that’s all part of it. Stay chill and stay strong, and trust that your body can heal, so you don’t necessarily need to have surgery.

    Anything can happen, really. Anything.


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