March 6, 2020
Why am I so on edge right now? I have been doing well, I thought. I have felt progress, I said. I have seen momentum, I believed. But here I am on a Friday night on the brink of panic — with a brain that is clearly still struggling to recover from traumatic injuries. Things are not yet out of control, but little appears to be stopping all from devolving in that direction. I've worked diligently with focus and intention to protect myself from outside stressors and added dangers since my accident. Yet as I struggle to put what is happening in the world beyond into perspective or terms I can understand, fear is ratcheting up. I’m starting to doubt my strength, feel sensitivity turn to weakness, watch agitation brew into anger, and lose my ability to allow for vulnerability without slipping into precarious territory — which only adds compounding layers of guilt, shame, sadness. Why? Again? Now? What good is progress if regression or stagnation always follow? How do I accept or accommodate all of these perplexing emotional sensations without caving or crumbling? I hear the wise newly-fortified voices in my head telling me this is natural, that self-limiting destructive lines of thought do not serve, to learn to work through rather than grow overwhelmed by or fall victim to troubling moments. Take time to process, gain awareness and choose a deliberate response to this temporary state, in place of mounting a hasty or disproportionate reaction from a place of fear, anger or frustration. Living with, managing and improving my relationship to discomfort will yield far greater outcomes than rigidity, toughness or absolutes. I don’t like feeling on edge, but denying, ignoring or fighting this reality will only deepen the nuanced web of challenges, whereas openness, acknowledgment and willingness to simply notice, scan and engage without judgment, pressure or resistance will enable me (I think/hope/pray) to not just make it through this negative experience, but that adoption of resilient techniques may even propel me onwards toward further psychological and physical healing. I’m on edge, I am — but also feel fairly capable of maintaining my balance, staying the course, breathing deeply, and carefully finding a way to more solid footing.