work

I started in April to move toward work again.  In thought.  Shaped my request to the Universe:  when I’m ready, about 10 hours a week at a certain pay rate, knowing that 10 hours would be punishing, but possible.

A few weeks ago I got a call for a short-term temp gig this week.  I’ve worked with the client on the same project beginning about two months before the hospital mess.  The caller wondered–would I be interested in more temp gigs?  Yes, with the understanding that I’m recovering from long-term illness and unable to work 8-hour days.   About 3 to 4 hours a day?  Yes.

On Tuesday when I got home after 3-1/2 hours at work, I sobbed the brain-fatigue out of me.  Then, spent 6 hours lying down reading (=resting).  Was able to make lunch.

Yesterday when I got home after 3 hours at work, was doing better–no sobbing until Big Mister rightly asked me to do something.  Then, my response was like being poked at with a sharp stick, the end anointed with poison.  My head throbs with fatigue, my eyes blink too slowly.  I want to lie down and just stop.

Just over a year ago, four months out of hospital, I wrote about my bubble theory of recuperation, back when thinking was a full-time exercise, often in futility.  It’s still there, my bubble that indicates when I’ve surpassed my tolerance of stimulation, of being alive to the world.

The fatigue smothers and terrifies.  Smother now, terrify later:  an advert I recommend you don’t respond to.  The terrify part is wondering what will happen to me in a few days, knowing how tired I am now, how foggy and far away.  The crashes are painful to the point of considering giving up, ceding responsibility for my life and my part in anyone else’s life.  To feel calm, to dab at paint, pet the cats.

Ceding won’t make things better.  Life would become harder, which is not that difficult to imagine.  I know in my guts what “hard” means.  Often I wonder why I’m not daily vomiting up the anguish.

I need to summon courage as I go back for another 3-hour block this morning.  I need to tell the client that I’m done for the week, that I get tired very easily and it’s time for a break until next week.  Behind those statements is fear:  fear that I’ll miss this chance to return to the working world where I earn money in order to keep our house.

One more request for the Universe:  please help me present myself coherently, cogently, and confidently.  Don’t let ’em see me sweat.

But strangely enough, when I can become still, I also find the voice of my faith that everything will come in the right order, that I’ll be presented with and take the correct steps to continue moving forward to the less-foggy.  I may teeter on the edge of a crash, but maybe it won’t happen.  I won’t know if I don’t try.

what kind of blogger do I want to be?

These late May days are better in character than days were just a couple of months ago:  much less weird-a&& anxiety, more calm response to life, rather than the blinding brain-meltdowns of the recent past.  Recognition, learning, adapting.  Continuing stubborn.  Continuing to push the limits and just try.

I have spent about 5 hours reading around a blog I found through a WP Reader search for “brain fog.”   Broken Brain – Brilliant Mind, is one person’s catalog and commentary about his own several (!) brain injuries.  (The author writes anonymously, so I am choosing the gender.)

He chronicles his own brain-specific moments through blogging, but he has also organized a library of sorts.  Hence, the 5 hours of reading.  Followed by exhausted resting in the afternoons.

My last injured 15 months have been chronicled here, not intentionally as blog fodder, but out of need to make some sense of me through the art of writing.    For which I am deeply grateful now that I’ve discovered the battering my short-term memory took.

I began this blog because I simply had to write.  I still want this blog to be about giving an account of myself in discovering the world.  I am more than the walking wounded, but I do not do as much as I did back at the start of the blog in July 2011, so have fewer topics to wander around in.  I don’t want this blog to devolve into solely a traipse through a brain injury; although it will include those meanders, how much I don’t know right now.

It is apparently my time to discover and implement resources for healing, and especially, adapting.  One discovery in this online reading has been the documented phenomenon of cognitive fatigue.

Another is an entire book dedicated to “self-therapy” for brain injury, a thorough discussion of brain injury with the goal of creating one’s own healing process because we are the only ones who can know how things are working internally.

(Though, I am somewhat amused to be wanting to edit the book’s structure to make it more brain-friendly.  Hint:  paragraph breaks give us a chance to breathe and absorb!  Or:  my, that’s a lot of solid blocks of text there when your audience may have difficulty following!)

Those two finds alone validate my many months of solo journeying back from the brink and discovering a scrambled brain, where before illness was a very powerful, cognitively adept brain, able to learn just about anything (except calculus).

I’m tired out now from reading so much about brain injury.  Can I have a rueful laugh from the audience, please?

The answer to my blog post title is that my blogging and my life must be full of variety, so that is my goal.  I don’t yet have the how, but I will have faith that I will keep making the right choices in order to discover the steps back to a fuller life.

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