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.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sad Girls Club

I sat in my brown chair, tears trickling down my face. Mounting pressure behind my eyes forced more tears out.

The tears had nothing to do with me. They rarely do. My emotions, or those I have when thinking of estranged family members, usually involve anger, a clenched jaw, not crying.

And the wailing session had nothing to do with Aimee; no friends or family were injured or in danger. I didn't cry for the people in Japan, or because of any local tragedy. Instead the sadness came while watching reality TV. Yes, that's right; a reality TV show.

To make it worse, the show wasn't about addiction, mass murder, or sick kids, or mistreated puppies, it was about some rich guy wanting to donate some of his fortune to charity.

Sure it was touching, but not touching enough to bring about a breakdown.

It was a welcome return to anti-depressants.

My doctor said that it's probably still too early in my recovery to ween them from my system. So, I guess the emotions will are here to stay and I should prepare myself for sob sessions during Survivor, and emotional blathering during Top Chef.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Last week I decided to stop taking my daily dose of Wellbutrin. I don't have a good understanding of what the pill does for me. Depression still hits but doesn't hit as hard. The emotional highs aren't as high as they were before the injury. The fatigue hasn't eased.

All of this made me curious if this was the new me. I wondered if the pills are actually helping. So, I decided to quit cold turkey.

For the first two days I felt great. I had energy. I didn't have that feeling like something was holding me back. Then the work week started. I sat down in front of the computer facing a tight deadline. I stared at the screen unable to put a single sentence together. I couldn't focus long enough to read a paragraph, or listen to interviews that I had recorded. I became frustrated. I yelled inside my room. I punched the walls and had fleeting visions of smacking myself.

I told Aimee that I thought I was losing it. She went online and looked up the withdrawals from Wellbutrin. At the top of the list was "lack of concentration, frustration," and emotional outbursts.

That night I went back on the pill. It worries me that I will have to depend on this pill for a long time. I want to see the person that I have to face for the rest of my life. I'd like to know what this injury has done to me.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Do You Smell Dog Shit?

I interviewed a man for a story yesterday in P-B. As I walked to the small cafe that we were meeting at, I nearly slipped and fell. I had stepped in a pile of dog shit that some dude, probably walking his pit bull, had walked away from. Maybe he was busy tweeting about his dog shitting on the sidewalk, or, composing his next Facebook post. Who knows?

So there I stood, shoes covered in shit, late for my interview. I did my best to rub it off. I shuffled my feet in a small patch of dirt before entering the cafe.

The interview lasted for over an hour. All I can think about was if he could smell the shit on my shoes. I obviously couldn't. I wouldn't know if it was smothered on my face.

'Should I ask him if he smelled anything foul?' I thought as he talked. 'No, because then I would have to explain,' I responded.

The conversation repeated in my head during the entire interview.

Good thing he was a talker.