This is a commentary about the slow lane, about the slowing of time since I suffered a severe brain injury while skateboarding with my dog. This is a blog about recovery; about our '82 VW Westfalia. It's about writing, surfing, camping, married life, bleeding ulcers that make you feel old at 32; about family, friends, and my dog Artie; it's about cruising in fourth gear, getting passed by every car and learning to appreciate every second of it.
Early afternoon, last Thursday, Aimee and I packed up the Westy and left San Diego for Yosemite. That day we sputtered our way through Southern California. Going up the Tejon Pass, the small diesel engine topped out at 34 miles per hour and I had a smile, at least a smirk, on my face the entire time.
I needed the trip. I needed a fresh outlook. I left with the realization that I would no longer speak to some family members for a long time. And while the conversations with those family members played on repeat for most of the trip, Aimee and I rejoiced on the open road.
Even though our rear tire blew while driving through Fresno, the trip, the feeling of the open road, hanging out and having beers with old friends, mixed with talks about future road trips in the Westy kept us excited and laughing all the way.
We needed it. The past few months have been tough. During those months I succumbed to depression. I lost sight of the target. I lost confidence in myself. The trip put it back in focus.
This recovery is harder than it ever has been. The ups and downs, the obsessive compulsive behavior and poor judgement has nearly sent me over the edge. My doctor prescribed me Zoloft to try and level things out and provide some needed Serotonin. I met with her the other day and gave her an update on my recovery.
Shortly after sitting down in her office, I began to rattle off my symptoms. She told me it was normal and said this stage of recovery is hard, that my brain is still healing and will continue to heal for some time. While it heals, symptoms will remain. She recommended a strict routine to try and overcome my obsessive compulsive behavior, and my frustration caused by my distractibility. I'll try.
It's difficult trying to balance all of this with ongoing issues with my family. They say their feelings are hurt. They say my irritability has offended them. They have said hurtful things in return, things that I would never believe possible. Aimee keeps telling me that they just don't understand the injury. I didn't expect any of it to happen. It makes this whole thing almost impossible to handle.
We leave for Yosemite on Thursday. I need to escape.