From good, to … where?

More quandary… I woke up early again today. I think I’m just jazzed about having extended time off, and all the ideas I normally don’t have the time to really dig into are pushing at the edges of my thought process.

They’re like neglected children — or puppies — all clamoring for attention.

What to do?

Well, first, I need to realize that this is a really good problem to have. A lot of people never figure out just what they want to do with their lives. I know what I want to do, and I’m doing it.

I just need to figure out how to make the most of it — and also get support from others to keep doing it. I spend a whole lot of time researching and writing and publishing, yet so far, the majority of the support has been motivational, moral support. I’m not knocking that — far from it. The “emotional paycheck” (as they call it) has been hugely important to me.

The thing is, emotions don’t really pay the bills, and I’ve gotta do that. So, I spent the lion’s share of my time working jobs that will get me money, so I can keep up this work… keep it going. And do more.

The other thing that’s kind of throwing me off, is that I’ve gotten into a pretty good space with my life. Sure, I still have issues that make my days “interesting”, but they’re manageable. I’ve figured out how to either ameliorate them or work around them or just plain ignore them and move along with my life. All the energy and time and focus I spent on identifying my issues, addressing them, coming up with new strategies and techniques, etc., etc.  …. well, it’s all paid off. And I’m in a really competent space right now (when I’m not mouthing off to police officers and managers at work, anyway).

And now where do I go?

I mean, seriously. I’ve felt like I was barely breaking even, for most of my 50 years. I’ve always had the sense that I was playing catch-up… and I wasn’t catching up very fast.

Now that I have the sense that I AM caught up, what do I do with myself?

If all you’re doing for your entire life, is trying to break even, and your whole life is geared towards laying low and minimizing risk, how can you transition to stepping out and above and beyond, when you no longer have to be chasing an ever-elusive goal?

If all your life you’re geared towards keeping things from blowing up, what do you do with yourself when you don’t have to be on constant guard? What do you do with all the energy that’s been spent on moment-by-moment damage control for so many years, when you’ve managed to achieve that level of control at a higher level?

And how do you keep yourself from imploding or going supernova from all the energy that comes up, when you’re not in constant fight-flight mode?

That there’s the question I’m wrangling with, this weekend. I have a lot of things I want to do, and that’s great. And in addition, I need to get used to the idea of moving forward into the unknown — and NOT having it all blow up in my face.

Well, this certainly keeps things interesting.

Onward.

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But I’m not afraid…

Well, it looks like I’m going to be dropping my current psychotherapist. After working with them for 6+ months, I’m seeing a regular pattern that I’m not comfortable with — every new piece of information I reveal about my past injuries and difficulties, and my present challenges, increases their trepidation about my present activities and my future prospects.

How many times can you sit in a room and have someone tell you that your hopes and dreams are unrealistic, given your neurological profile?

How many more weeks am I supposed to spend making room in my schedule for someone who actively discourages me from living my life — and paying them to do it?

Okay, granted, I do have a lot of difficulties and challenges, and no, it’s not easy. But the thing is, I flatly refuse to give in to the lot of it. I just refuse. I am not afraid to live my life, I am not afraid to stumble and fall. I am not afraid to take on new challenges and see what I’m capable of doing. I’m more afraid of never trying something, never taking a risk, never finding out just what I’m made of.

I have been injured, this I know. I have my challenges and difficulties. That much is clear. But I’m not afraid to step out and do what I need to do, to move myself along my life’s path. I have one life, and one chance to live it. If I sit by the sidelines, like this therapist apparently expects me to, I just don’t think I can live with myself. That’s not living — that’s surviving. Subsisting. And I’m built of better stuff than that.

I also have excellent resources on hand to help me along — namely, information and promising stories from Give Back Orlando and other sources — that provide me tools and orientation to get my life back in order. The vast majority of the issues I have are logistical, and if I just modify how I do things, tweak the execution a bit, I can get myself on the right track, and keep myself there.

There’s no mystery to it, no matter how mystifying the brain is. Bottom line is, my mind is what runs things, not just my brain. And when I devote more attention to being mindful, well, that solves a ton of problems out of the gate.

It’s when I’m not mindful — when my broken brain gets the upper hand and convinces the rest of me that it’s just fine, going it alone — that I get into trouble.

Real trouble.

So, my problems are by and large fixable. And the ones that aren’t, I just avoid like the plague. I delegate things to others who know better how to do them. I solicit help from people who are just dying to lend a hand. And I richly reward people with ample thanks and a ton of praise. I feed them, and they help me. And vice versa. It’s all good.

The one major problem I have, is I’ve got a psychotherapist who seems to be afraid of their own shadow. I dunno — I think within a certain context, they’re perfectly fine. At least, they were, three months ago. Maybe I’ve just grown a bit. Maybe I’ve just evolved. And their orientation is no longer helpful to me. That could be. I have been known to shift very quickly, and it wouldn’t surprise me if I were advancing in a sudden burst along my recovery.

But they don’t seem to recognize that, and they keep cautioning me against doing things like taking on responsibility and following down a career path that leads to more money. Just yesterday, they were telling me (as though I don’t know it) that more financially rewarding jobs entail more sacrifices from those who hold them. Uh, excuse me? Is that something they think I don’t know? I’m not so sure they realize who I am and what I’ve done with my life. I’m not sure they realize that it’s possible to live productively and radically well, even after a bunch of concussions. But even with me sitting right in front of them, telling them about how well I’ve been doing lately, they can’t seem to see it. Or they distrust it. Or they distrust me.

This makes me nervous. It makes me very nervous, indeed. And I woke up last night from a nightmare about a wildfire sweeping through my neighborhood, driving all these wild animals ahead of it. (Not sure how the lizards and wildcats and wildfowl got into the suburban neighborhood in my dream, but I’m sure that symbolism is all about me and the less “civilized” aspects of my personality.)

Warning bells are going off, and it looks like I’m going to be shopping for a new psychotherapist again… Fortunately, I’m seeing my neuropsych this afternoon, so I can ask them if they know anyone who specializes in therapy within a brain injury recovery context. They’re on the same page as me — totally devoted to realizing all the amazing possibilities of life, and refusing to settle for less — so I have more faith in the resources they might recommend.

The bummer is, the current therapist I have is listed as someone the Brain Injury Association in my state recommends. I’m not sure if I should mention my experience to them, as I don’t want to trash them. But if they’re running this head trip on me, what might they be doing to others?

I have to wonder.

Anyway, it actually feels good to be coming to this decision. I’ll talk it over wiht my neuropsych and see what they have to say about it, and then I’ll move from there.

{ Sigh }  This rehabilitation process can be a tiresome road at times. But it sure beats the alternative!

Onward.