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.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Bottle Up and Explode

It was the beginning of the day. I sat in my chair. The house was silent. The animals were frozen in slumber, curled up in a ball. The rush of emotions hit me like a punch to the throat. The thoughts, random quick blips of voices and emotions, cycled in my head. There were no tears. There usually aren't. It wasn't one thought that caused the paralysis, it was several.

"I can't do it anymore. I fucking can't do it anymore," I said out loud, like some maniac. The animals opened their eyes for a second and then closed them. I sat still in my chair rubbing my head, thinking to myself that I want to give up, that I am completely spent.

This act is killing me. The act that I've put on since four days after I woke up and called friends and wrote to my editors, pretending like nothing had happened. It's times like these that I want to retreat, to drift off in seclusion, to lock myself in some dark room and not have the obligations, not have to deal with the broken promises, the guilt associated with having a fucked up family that chose to feel sorry for themselves instead of support their son and brother.

This is the real me. The real injury. This is the rage that I harbor inside on a daily basis.


  1. My son had a brain injury at birth and required surgery when he was a month old. His development has been delayed by about a year. He will turn 4 in March. We do not know yet, the extent of his injury. I cry for you both at the injustice of your circumstances. I would not trade him for 'perfect' baby. He brings me such joy. Your words are preparing me for what he might feel one day when he realizes his limitations.

  2. Just Me,

    I'm sorry to hear about your baby boy. It's amazing how powerful a caring and understanding family can have for anybody with limitations, regardless of what they are. It sounds like you are already aware of that and that alone makes the difference. Be strong! Feel free to contact me anytime.


  3. As a man (at 18, I am not sure I qualify yet) who was born with adrenal insufficiency and who broke his neck surfing a few years back in high school up at Camp Pendleton on a perfect day, I would love to say that I understand what you are going through. I made it through a fusion of my c-spine without paralysis and I think, 'Hell, I am a lucky son of a bitch.' I see you and I empathize, yet there is no way I will ever fully understand the mental and physical challenges that adversely affect your life. I remember the slick doctors; the ones that have the bedside manner of sandpaper, the IV's, the medications and above all, the helplessness.

    Someone once asked me if the medications I take make me the person I am as opposed to what I would be without them, because certainly they have a profound affect on my mindset. I will never have that luxury of knowing and simply replied that I can only play my various behaviors too what I think best in a man and compensate when deemed appropriate. I hope you can conquer your emotional challenges, as I still succumb to the stupor of mood-changing medication and have failed in some of my friendships and relationships.

    Fellow San Diegan, I indulge my love of skateboarding, music and writing as much as I can. And now, in the prime of my life, it seems I should start wearing a helmet when I skate (regardless of the situation) and ascribe that decision to your condition to date.

    Know that you have a fan and friend in me, and likely countless others concerned for your well-being. I wish you a swift recovery, as unlikely as that may be, and I will say a prayer for you when I find myself turning to God.

    I wish you luck in your future endeavors, love and loyalty in your relationships, and strength when faced with adversity.