Help, I’m Broken!

One evening last summer I made a mistake preparing a simple meal, one I’ve made often. Almost a year later I can see how screwing up dinner was annoying but not life-shattering. When it happened, this episode confirmed how screwed up, how useless, how pathetic, and how stupid I had become since my fall. Messing up and almost ruining dinner proved that all the negative self-talk I’d been sabotaging myself with was true. Only then, I didn’t realize how damaging my thoughts had become.

When I told my sister and neuropsychologist about how this incident had reduced me to tears and how I was unable to fix my mistake, they both said my reaction was extreme. Everyone messed up cooking dinner. My response meant I needed help, now. My mom, who witnessed the event, agreed with them.

My heart already knew I needed help. My stubborn mind disagreed. It still wanted to me to feel sorry for myself and give up.

I pondered my situation for a few days.

Fear Can’t Stop Me

Broken and in need of help to get well, I contacted my doctor. Seeing her led to a whirlwind of activity that lasted the rest of 2016 and into 2017.

Here’s What I’ve Done So Far

The doctor treated me for high blood pressure, female issues, obesity, and depression and anxiety. She recommended I do physical therapy, and see a neurologist.

The physical therapists treated me for neck and shoulder issues, balance, dizziness, and vision problems using dry needling and manual manipulation techniques as well as lots of stretches and exercises.

The neurologist sent me to get a cat scan, MRI, and an EEG. She also sent me to see a neuropsychologist and a speech therapist.

The speech therapist taught me memory and problem-solving techniques.

The neuropsychologist conducted an interview followed by neuropsychological tests. At the end of the testing, she recommended I get into therapy right away to help me deal with my new reality. I recently received the official assessment from the tests and the written recommendation to see a therapist or psychologist among other things.

The therapist/psychologist … I’ve put off getting therapy for five months.

Lies I Tell Myself

Everything the doctors and therapists had me do has helped. Some of the tests were uncomfortable and frightening, but I put my big girl panties on and prayed my way through them.

I know people who’ve been to therapy or are in therapy. It doesn’t make them less worthwhile.

So why haven’t I started therapy? I asked myself.

The voice in my head replied, Because I’m scared. What will it be like? Is the therapist going to want me to use techniques or methods that make me uncomfortable? Will the person be nice? Will spilling my guts really help? Do you even spill your guts in therapy? What do you do in therapy?

I don’t know. What I do know is the longer I postpone getting started the easier it is to pretend I’m fine.

I’m not though … I’m not.

So What’s Next?

I started sharing the details of my recovery in hopes that it would help others going through similar problems. The thing is if I’m not honest with myself about being afraid then how can you trust me when I title a section Fear Can’t Stop Me? You can’t.

It wasn’t until I struggled to finish this post that it occurred to me why I’d found ways to avoid going to therapy. Going to therapy would force me to acknowledge that I won’t ever be the same. Talk about a scary thing to have to accept.

I need to follow my advice. Don’t chicken out. Be brave, pray about it, and finish. Going halfway through the process isn’t enough.

Has something similar happened to you? How did you push through? Have you been to therapy? Did it help? Was it scary? Are you glad you went? Consider sharing your thoughts in the comments.

Lonely, Sad, Relaxed - Credits to https://costculator.com/
photo credit: FootMassagez Lonely, Sad, Relaxed – Credits to https://costculator.com/ via photopin (license)

Dear Morgan, Don’t Give Up!

Several long-term goals were within my grasp. I had a plan. My confidence was high, twenty-sixteen was the year I’d been dreaming of.

Until

On an overcast night in early February when we took our dogs out to potty before bed. Our big dog, Meg, was already outside on her lead when Molly and I arrived. Meg was so excited to see us that she did three joyous laps around us in a couple of seconds. Before I could step out of the loops made from her lead, a strange sound in the neighbor’s yard distracted Meg and she ran to investigate.

I woke up laying on the concrete patio looking up at the stars and worried about Molly.

Everything Changed

I’d gotten a concussion when I landed on my head on the concrete. Nausea and headaches became normal. When we went to the doctor, my mom told her I’d been speaking a lot of gibberish since it happened. I’d known I’d been struggling with my words but I’d had no clue that I wasn’t making any sense.

I lost six weeks of writing time because I couldn’t focus on anything. Stupidly, I assumed I could just work extra hard for a month or two and my amazing year would continue as planned with only this hiccup to make things interesting.

Before falling I’d planned to finish rewriting Valentine’s Catastrophe before Camp NaNoWriMo started on April first. Then I’d write the rough draft of UnScrooged, a full-length Christmas romance novel, during camp. And after that complete rewrites of my first book, The Fire-Pit, followed by another rough draft of a brand new story.

It quickly became clear this schedule was never going to happen. I couldn’t work for more than a couple of hours a day and barely made any progress. Halfway through camp, I officially changed my goals so I wouldn’t beat myself up for being so far behind schedule.

False Hope

The last week of Camp NaNoWriMo I reached an intense and emotional scene. No matter what I did it wouldn’t come together. Desperate to finish the story, I took a pen and paper outside in the hope that inspiration would strike. Molly came with me. We enjoyed the sunny spring day and while she did fun dog things, I wrote.

By the time Molly wanted to go inside I’d written more than I had in over a week. Excitement and relief surged through me. I was back to my old self!

I woke up early the next day eager to get to work. Two cups of coffee later, I’d only written a couple of sentences and didn’t like either one. By lunch I was blinking back the tears gathering in my eyes.

I hate crying. I hate being weak. Continue reading “Dear Morgan, Don’t Give Up!”

February Already?

In a few hours January will be history. It always surprises me. Where did the time go? How can another month have come and gone already?

This year I chose the word renew to embody my hopes and dreams for 2014. Did I do anything in January that renewed me? I’m happy to report that, yes, I did.

Cutting Back

I gave up Words With Friends after the first of the year. I played it non-stop for a little over a year and at times had a dozen games going at once. Without realizing it, I was spending hours on the game. I began playing to improve how I thought about words. It worked. The game got easier for me and my average score improved by almost 150 points. So why stop? Because in the last few months I haven’t enjoyed playing and my score had stagnated. It was time for a break.

Getting Organized

Being organized has always been a challenge for me. Last year I seemed to go in streaks. I’d work really hard at organizing and then a few weeks later things would be a mess again. I’d get things back where they belonged and then several days later it’d be a mess again. Obviously, my method wasn’t effective for me. Frustration sent me in search of new ideas. I read several posts discussing organization. While it was a relief to know I wasn’t alone in this struggle, I knew I still needed a way to make it work. Armed with many ideas, I decided to begin with small easily repeatable steps and reminders.

I discovered a handy reminder app on my computer. It puts a reminder on the screen, no matter what I’m doing, that tells me what I need to get done. I put in everything from clean the bathroom to take a bike ride to put clean clothes away. I don’t know about you, but it’s easy washing the dirty clothes and putting them in the dryer, but everything falls apart once they come out of the dryer. Writing about this reminds me that I have a stack of clean towels to put away…BRB.
Continue reading “February Already?”

Faith And Renewal For A New Year

Midnight has come and gone. The parties are over. It’s a brand new year!

Unfulfilled New Year’s Resolutions

Many people make resolutions on New Year’s Eve; a list of things to change and goals for the year. There isn’t anything wrong with wanting to change your life or set goals for the year. I used to make a list of resolutions each year. One year as Valentine’s Day approached I realized that not only had I not started anything on my list but I didn’t even know where the list was anymore. Since then I haven’t bothered writing down any resolutions.

Thinking about the types of things I put on my list of New Year’s resolutions I now realize why I failed to carry out even one of them most years. I filled my list with things so big that only a giant could step far enough to complete them: lose weight, get rich, get married, buy a car, buy a house, get my degree, get a job I love, and be happy. There isn’t anything wrong with that list except that they’re all long-term goals. I never did figure out what small steps I’d need to take for each of them to actually happen. I never even defined what some of them meant. Without drawing a trail map and determining exactly what I was looking for how could I check off anything on my New Year’s resolutions list? I couldn’t. So for years I just floated from one year to the next.

Changing My Outlook

A few years ago I felt stuck. Life wasn’t at all what I’d thought it would be; it didn’t resemble any of my dreams. Events pushed me off the path I was on and caused me to lose my balance and tumble down the hill. Unlike Jack, I landed slightly bruised but unbroken. I shakily stood and looked around.

Spider Meadows with Canon A620
Pictoscribe via Compfight

I landed in a meadow  decorated with colorful wildflowers and tall grasses. A stream meandered through it and trees with birds singing in their branches provided a shady place to rest. I realized I could be happy here. New opportunities waited for me, things that before I couldn’t see because I was too busy walking with my head down making sure I didn’t stumble. It didn’t work, I fell anyway. It was time to do some soul-searching. Continue reading “Faith And Renewal For A New Year”