There’s a whole lot there

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It's amazing what all goes on in there

So, yesterday I was supposed to go to a screening of a movie that a friend of mine created. I was listed as one of the contributors, since I provided an idea that they used to really build out the plot. I even got a credit ๐Ÿ™‚ And the screening last night was to give everyone who contributed the chance to see the product of their creative inspiration.

I was planning on going, but yesterday morning, I bailed. I’d actually been leaning towards bailing for the past week, as things have been very busy at work and I am behind on my sleep. I probably could have gone — that is, if I had remembered it was actually last night, instead of Monday evening. But for some reason, I had it in my head that it was on Monday. So, when bailed, I bailed for the wrong date.

Oh, well. At least I got back in touch with the filmmaker before the date had passed. That would have been embarrassing.

Anyway, there was no way I could have gone yesterday. My sensory issues were acting up, and I felt very “off” all day. Like I was walking around on another planet or something. Off  balance. Jumpy. Spaced out. Feeling like I’m in a fog. Very sensitive. And in pain. My back and hips are giving me problems again – I may need to adjust the seat in my car some more.

Being around other  people was not an option. And anyway, my spouse was out of town last evening, so I had a lot of time to devote to myself and my reading. I found some really great articles online that I printed out, and I took a lot of time to think about them. One of them is a huge challenge for me, because it’s full of formulas and physics, which I don’t understand and can’t follow. I’m going to read it again today to see if it makes any more sense to me.

The interesting thing about formulas and calculations, is that I can look at them and not understand what they’re saying, but I still feel like I “get” what they are about. It’s like there’s a part of my brain that understands in a non-verbal, implicit way, what the formulas and calculations are about. I couldn’t recreate them to save my life, but reading them, they make sense. At least, to my thinking, they do,

So, last night was good. I got to spend a lot of time with myself and in the deafening silence that is my brain crunching through new information. My spouse says they can hear the gears turning in my head, sometimes, and I have to stop thinking so hard around them, because it’s too “loud”. Ha. So, the old machinery is still working ๐Ÿ™‚

One thing I’ve noticed is that the way my brain works is very different from most people’s. It has been that way since I was a kid, and while it does not make it easier for me to interact with other people, it does make it easier for me to interact with information. Data. Formulas. Calculations. I can look at something and “get” what is going on there. Even though I cannot always articulate it or explain it or even replicate it, there is a sort of visual processing that goes on in my mind/brain that can process data at a glance and identify patterns in it.

I cant’t explain how it works, or even why it works, but it works. And I have  come to realize that much of the difficulties I have had over the years in school and work interactions have had to do with me trying to fit my thinking style into an approach that other people understand and can relate to. It’s a trap. Because when I try to wedge my non-verbal thinking into a verbally oriented way of processing information, I lose the very thing that makes me strong and capable.

I’m not sure if TBI has anything to do with altering how my brain works, but I do know it has a LOT to do with me trying to make myself into something and someone I am not. TBI makes my thinking rigid. It blocks my ability to see multiple possibilities. It makes me inflexible and I get stuck in a thinking rut that’s very difficult to get out of. And the ultimate result is that I think there is something wrong with ME and how my brain works, when the real problem is how I am thinking about myself and what I’m expecting of my brain.

I think maybe this is what my neuropsych has been trying to communicate to me, lo these many years. I have been so rigidly focused on being and thinking ONE CERTAIN WAY that really doesn’t suit me as well as the variety of ways I have to choose from. Now, years later, I’m getting it.

And it’s good.

So, that’s the deal for today. I am having a blast, reading these new papers, and I am also having a blast mapping out the ideas I get from them. I have a bunch of papers I downloaded over the years when I was really digging into scientific papers for the sake of idea density (I read a book about the Mankato Nun Study which discovered that having a lot of “idea density” in your  language/thinking correlated with reduced symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia, and with my history of head trauma, dementia has been an ongoing concern for me). I have a ton of papers on TBI and related subjects, many of which I have not actually read in depth. I just scanned the abstracts, and that was good enough for me at the time.

Now it’s very different, and I look forward to digging into them again.

Oh, and there are the several works I’ve been working on that I think could really help people better understand TBI and the after-effects, so that we can treat the right underlying issues, instead of chasing the symptoms around the block and back again.

There’s a lot going on with me, these days. And it’s good.

Onward.

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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. Iโ€™ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuriesโ€ฆ and the folks who do know, havenโ€™t fully realized just how itโ€™s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. Iโ€™m coming out from behind the shields Iโ€™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.

8 thoughts on “There’s a whole lot there”

  1. We have so much in common when it comes to symptoms and brain-processes. I’m so glad to know I’m not alone in the world in those aspects/with tbi, too. It’s good that you had some you-time, and that you had a chance to just be. Thanks for writing so often. I feel so much less alone when I read your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Damn, you’re living in my head. It’s funny. I can’t learn worth crap anymore. But if it’s something I had enough repetitions or familiarity before I got hurt, I can generally access the information. I think like a computer with too many windows open. Everything slow.

    I also have to have MY routine or I get off balance. Hopefully, I’ll eventually have a good day regarding sensory overload. Everyday, I get overloaded at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The only way I can tolerate WalMart is at 2:00-3:00 am. No crowds, less noise. Still have to deal with the lights and any sounds in there echoes. Whoever thought high ceilings in a large store were a good thing…

    Liked by 1 person

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