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.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Sentence Streams

“It would have been better if you would have died.”

Flying into Denver on my layover, returning from visiting the in-laws in Georgia, the familiar voice streams in my mind. I rubbed the bulge on the side of my head to try and get it out. It wasn’t going anywhere. It wasn’t loud. It didn't need to be.

As his voice plays on a continuous loop, the anti-depressants numb the emotions. At times there’s this intense rush of sadness. Tears come to my eyes and blood floods to my brain. But nothing happens and all that remains is his deep, raspy smoker's voice.

Steinbeck wrote that the best way to get things out of your head is not to force the thought or memory out but to dwell on it until it disappears. That doesn't work and for eight months that sentence, the tone, has been there.

I told my doctor. She says the non-stop streaming is similar to obsessive-compulsive disorder but instead of actions I get hung up on thoughts and memories.

It makes me think of a man that I interviewed for work. He was diagnosed as “schizophrenic effective.” He said he hears voices in his head, though is capable of not acting on them. I’m the same way but I wish I could act on the voice in order to shut it up for good.

1 comment:

  1. When my sister was in ICU and there was a slight chance that she was going to survive her massive bleed, there was a Russian doctor who would come in and check her vitals, look at me shaking his head and saying, "She should be dead." in his very thick eastern European accent. When he came to see her in rehab he would pull me over and tell me all the things she wouldn't be able to do (all of which she is doing, by the way). He would see that she was listening and look at her hard (like a good Russian) and intone "You should be dead." After he left the room she and I would look at each other and repeat in thick cartoon Russian accents, "You should be dead." Finally, when we were both sick of his dark Russian hopelessness, I stood up (at 6'2" I was about a foot taller than him) and lowered my voice, got very close to him, and hissed, "Stop it. Stop it right fucking now. She should not be dead." I was the ugliest American, and scared the holy crap out of him.

    Sometimes I know it isn't so damn funny when she hears that voice late at night when she is trying to figure out how to make it another month in cold bleak West Virginia. I try as hard as I can to stand up between her and that damn voice.

    Breathe Dorian. Keep breathing... you're doing it, kiddo, every damn day. You're doing it.