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.
Hello friends. It's been a long time since visiting this website; a much needed break from what seemed like posting my every complaint.
That said, I'm ready to be get back to spilling my guts again very soon. I will start with a quick update:
A lot has happened over the past months. We have traveled, been working, I spoke to a family member who I'd had a falling out with shortly after my accident, and been trying to move forward and live a proper life.
Things are better, however, they started improving shortly after I started taking my second anti-depressant. As sad as it is to say, I believe I have found my cocktail of choice. I say it is sad because I've never taken prescription meds before, probably wouldn't have hurt, but never thought it was a priority.
I started back on the Lexapro, in addition to Wellbutrin, a few months back. Things weren't going so well for me before doing so. I found myself withdrawing even more than before. I wouldn't return calls. Everything was a chore, a chore that I didn't want to take on. I grew sick of daily fights with fatigue. Those things, plus my temper began to grow as well. Good news about that was most times I would be able to focus my rage on myself and not by yelling at others, or punching walls or other inanimate objects.
The most disturbing thing, looking back, was the depression wasn't a good depression. I wasn't sitting around listening to sad music and writing like I had done before. This depression was void of emotion, void of thought. It was too powerful to get through, and too strong to push passed.
Since being on the two happy pills, these issues have pretty much disappeared, thus the contact with some of my family and thus the decision to click on this blog again.
I'm just now starting to feel normal again, though still hope the day comes when I no longer fear being off medication. One thing I do know if that time is not know. For now, those pills are the only things that are keeping my head above water.
I hope this blog will help just like it always has in the past!
I've been sweating for a week straight. The sweat is one part nerves and the other from the hot and humid wind that has blown since Aimee and I landed in Florida.
It's been nice to see old friends (see picture of dead rat in the Ron Jon's fountain) and visit with Aimee's family.
But, (cue the complaints) it has also been completely exhausting, as is most everything I do.
I viewed this trip as another chance, an opportunity to return, not only to my former home but to my former self.
I packed my journal, the one I haven't used in more than six months. I envisioned myself writing on the plane, possibly regain the desire to take another stab at writing fiction or at least trying to rewrite that poor attempt at a novel I finished a few years back. Most of all, I hoped to delete the thoughts in my head that play over and over again, the ones that focus on an old injury, the thoughts that prompt the excuses, the shitty reactions, the clenched fist at my jaw; all those familiar outbursts.
Today, I made the drive from Indialantic to Gainesville to see an old friend. And, tonight I will visit some of the places, most likely a bar that I frequented in the past, back when I worked so hard at trying to become a writer, or, at least, what I thought a writer should be. Until today the journal and the computer have had a home in my bag. Of course, I'm not surprised but am a bit disappointed.
It's funny, seven years after moving from here I return with a shaved head from male-pattern baldness and a large scar tracing the right side of my head, with the same objective that I had as a 26-year-old wannabe writer. I hope this attempt turns out better than the first.
For years Aimee and my mom have joked about the round, slice-of-bologna-looking spot on the top of my head. I shrugged it off. No way was I balding, I said. My brothers, 7 and 6 years my elder, have full thickets of brown hair. Hell, my grandfather died when he was in his eighties with a full head of hair.
It wasn't until I had my skull put back on-- damn that phrase can never get old-- and had my head shaved did I finally accept that my hair was thinning. But it was nothing that a little strategic combing wouldn't solve.
The thinning didn't seem to get any worse. I grew my hair back.
Then, a few weeks ago I began to notice Aimee playing with the back of my hair before leaving the house. Armed with a bottle of hair spray she would spend a few minutes making sure the whiteness from my head didn't show through.
A week ago I decided to get a second mirror. I held it behind my head. The bologna slice had fused and there was no way of getting around it. A few days later, Aimee shaved my head.
And whether I link my accelerated hair loss to a side-effect from Wellbutrin, or blame it on post-traumatic stress from the fall, or say it is a result of stress, it doesn't really matter.
But the bologna-patch got me to thinking, what do other men do when as they learn to accept baldness. I went online and found a website, thebaldtruth.com for men who are coping with hair loss. I wish I had discovered it before because it is pretty damn comical. For example, read the introduction to the site:
If you’re a young guy reading this article, it’s important that you know you are not alone.
Losing your hair can drastically change the way you perceive yourself and it can change the way others react to you in all aspects of life. I’m not going to sugarcoat it.
Because of this fact, it’s reasonable to have feelings of confusion and despair. This is nothing to be ashamed of. There will be women who reject you because of your hair loss. There will be situations in which people will openly make less than polite comments and observations about your receding hairline. These are just the facts.
At first it will be difficult to deal with, but I am here, as someone who was once a severely depressed hair loss sufferer, to tell you that there is life after hair loss.
I wonder if they have a forum for guys who are losing their hair with huge scars on one side of their head as a result of a skateboarding accident. I'll keep searching. In the meantime, with head shaved, scar showing, bulge bulging, I have no other choice than to embrace the bologna slice.