Gotta slow it down… before it stops you

I’m taking a break from social media, this weekend. I’ve been spending too much time on Facebook, lately, checking in with all my old friends, and it’s getting to me. The steady stream of excitement, the videos, the thought-provoking memes, the provoking comment threads… it’s all way too much.

Last weekend I was social. And it took a lot out of me. It took me all week to recover, which is too much time. I’ve been up for three hours, and I’m ready to go back to bed. I had my walk in the woods, which was good (though all the flies and mosquitoes didn’t help). The best thing about it, was that I didn’t run into any people. It was just me on the trails.

I know we need people. We need social interaction to stay connected.But this weekend, I’m taking it easy.

I’m focusing on the things I’ve been wanting to do for weeks, but have not been able to, because of the new job and all the energy it’s taken out of me. I’m focusing on chilling out my system, not keeping it riled up. I’ve got to slow myself down considerably. I’ve been running too “hot” for weeks, now, and my system needs a break.

If I continue to push myself, the adrenaline will kick in, and it will fry my system. I need to back it down and keep the fight-flight out of the picture. Yes, it’s a beautiful day. Yes, there’s a lot I want to do. But I need to rest. Catch up with myself.

This coming week, I do not have any appointments at all. No chiropractor, no neuropsychologist, no acupuncturist, no massage. Zip. Nada. Zilch. Sweet relief. “Self-care” is over-rated, when it takes such a deep bite into your downtime. There comes a point of diminishing returns.

So, speaking of downtime, it’s back to bed for me.

Till later…

“On” day today

Time to hit the “on” button again

Yesterday was a quiet day for me. I rested a lot, did a lot of reading and studying the parts of the brain, and also looked more closely at my MRI. I might be due for another one, because it’s been five years since my last one that revealed the pineal cyst.

The cyst is actually about three times the size of a “shouldn’t be a problem” cyst. It is 1.6 cm and .5 cm is a usual size that shows up. Looking around online at other people’s experiences with pineal cysts, they are experiencing a lot of disruptive symptoms with ones that are about the same size as mine.

I honestly don’t know what to think of this, because on the one hand, all the headaches I’ve been having, along with the vertigo and numbness and tingling in my face and hands *might* be related. On the other hand, I don’t want to start digging around for issues that will raise flags with medical folks and send me down a path of super-invasive procedures, when the symptoms I’m having are actually tolerable.

The headaches don’t make me happy, but they also don’t stop me from living my life. I just recognize that my head hurts, I do what I can to relieve the pain a bit, and I get on with my life.

Anyway, after spending a quiet day yesterday, getting some good rest and taking it easy, I’m ready for a whole new day – out and about. I’ve got a handful of things to take care of — nothing really intense or overwhelming, just stuff. And running those errands will take me into a town with a library that has some books I’ve been wanting to check out, so that’s good.

This seems to be about the right pace for me — not too fast, not too slow, just very steady. I have some intervals of excitement, here and there, but I have also interspersed it with some naps and rest, which is a real step in the right direction.

It’s been great to slow down, but it hasn’t been without its challenges. Stopping moving makes me realize just how much pain I’m in, and the stretching and exercises I’ve been doing have revealed some stuff that I need to work through. The tenseness, the tightness, the limited range of motion, and also my poor posture. I really have poor posture, which is screwing up my back. Not until I stopped going 100mph and slowed down to notice what’s going on with me, did I realize it. But now I realize it. So, ouch. There’s the good pain that comes from sore muscles after exercise. There’s the bad pain that comes from limited range of motion and under-use. Ouch. But I’m working through it.

One of the other things that keeps happening to me is that I keep getting very emotional — tears are coming up, which I hate, because crying gives me a splitting headache and I feel like crap for days afterwards. I have been tearing up while driving, and also while sitting around my house. I guess stopping all the forward motion is causing the emotional stuff that I usually “use” for fuel and motivation to show itself for what it really is. I haven’t stressed about much of anything all week, which is a big change. And not stressing and not needing to keep everything under wraps seems to be making me more emotional.

Times like this past week, when I am not constantly focused on what needs to be done, I get re-acquainted with my TBI issues in a much closer way. The memory problems — I went to the hardware store and bought $75 worth of supplies, but I couldn’t remember what they were, a day later… the fatigue problems — never feeling like I have enough sleep and always been a bit wiped out… the coordination problems, headaches, ringing in my ears, and the difficulty I have getting started on things… Slowing down makes me more aware of these things, and having time to think about my life, also doesn’t really help that much, because I just get depressed, thinking about all the things I was able to do before, but now cannot seem to get my head around.

Well, whatever. I’ve had a few down-time days, which has been good. And now I’m ready to be “on” again. I’ve got my list. I’ve got my plans. I’ve got things pretty much mapped out, and that’s good. I can’t sit around anymore and feel bad about my situation. That’s just no good.

Now, onward – the day is waiting.