Life In The Slow Lane...
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San Diego, CA, United States
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.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Carburetor Conundrum

The other day I was driving to go to a meeting for work. I turned right as cars across the road were turning left. As I pulled up to the stop light I looked in my rear view mirror. The driver behind me was middle-aged with a long Grey beard. I saw him raise his hands and mouth the word "asshole." Apparently, he thought I had cut him off.

I snapped. I turned around and started yelling. I gave him the finger. I yelled the entire time the light was red. He told me to 'fuck off' and gave me the finger and then watched as I yelled inside the van. He reached down and started dialing a number on his phone. The light turned green. I drove slow so that he would pass me and I would have another opportunity to freak out once again. He stayed behind me and got off at the next exit.

This is my rage. A few seconds later, depression takes over.

I brought this up to my neurologist. I told her that my temper seemed to be getting worse. That the new anti-depressant wasn't controlling it. I asked her why this rage was still around and if it was normal.

She said it was. She told me that the frontal lobes control the outlet of emotions. She compared my injury to a carburetor in a car. She said my carburetor was "idling" fast and was not regulating the stream of emotions. It's an analogy I have not heard yet but it makes sense.

In so many ways, I'm not a new person. Many of the traits and emotions were here prior to the fall. Before, I would fly off the handle. Back then, I went out of my way to please people, I made plans when I probably shouldn't have, and I became excitable in social settings.

But now, all of that comes much quicker and easier. It's crazy to see the person you are, without all of the safeguards in place. It's disturbing. I hate it. I never realized how much we depend on those filters. I never realized how bad of a person I was without it.

I am having a hard time keeping it together.

1 comment:

  1. One day at a time, Dorian.
    Keep going. Don't give up.
    Happy Thanksgiving.