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My Love For Lists

December 3rd, 2019


Today, my doctor told me to keep a variety of running lists as part of multifaceted treatment for brain injuries and PTSD — and believe it or not, my near-daily vegan ice cream outings make the cut! Lists have long been my thing, my go-to, my secret, my sanity, but once jam-packed never-ending practical to-do lists have been replaced with simpler stress-free, yet perhaps more important ones to capture, track, honor, celebrate and further even minor progress. In addition to much else, the doctor’s official written Rx ‘medical prescription’ that I hold in my hand includes committing to and making daily lists for:

– Gratitude: each night, I note people, things, events and concrete or abstract thoughts for which I am grateful, something I cherish and will surely continue
– Social engagement: no, this does not yet mean visitors (don’t get too excited, friends!), but I will keep working toward that, hopefully in the near future
– Value-based activity: while I am not able to serve in a hands-on way right now, I can still show empathy by reaching out to and showing up for people in need, whether friends or others, and amplifying campaigns around issues I care about (like my #GivingTuesday Twitter thread today with organizations in which I believe:
– Achievements and accomplishments: little things now feel momentous, like lowering doses of pain medications, washing all of the dishes, waking from a nightmare-free sleep, replying to long overdue emails or even being brave enough to share a post with the world
– Enjoyment and fun: although fleeting and inconsistent, I derive snippets of joy from vegan ice cream (en route to or from appointments, like today’s stop at this organic seasonal spot), hot cleansing showers, whipping up superfood smoothies, watching Christmas movies (or silly videos from friends), and yes, my saving grace of writing

These activities and lists are for no one but myself, to help me both pass the time and recognize some sense of personal growth, strength and perseverance. I am capable of and achieve more than I may give myself credit for, all of which is worthy of reflection, especially in rare moments of clarity away from the grips of darkness. I also must maintain reasonable expectations, knowing that accepting where my body and mind may arrive in any given moment, without comparison or value allotment, is of the utmost importance. Still confused, overwhelmed and not knowing what comes next or when things change or where this tumultuous journey will lead, I remain ever grateful for any and all additional tools to help me navigate trauma recovery, particularly those of the delicious varietal.

Read more of my journey here. 
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