Road To Recovery – Road One

I have been waiting to write this all week, as I have had a lot of time to organize my thoughts reflect on all that’s been going on.
Just be wary, though this won’t be overly graphic I don’t intend to spare any details.

As to what I am recovering from, well, let me tell you what I have been explaining to people all week – the accident:


It was a little after midnight last Saturday night, the roads we still busy and the rain hadn’t let up in days but for the most part nothing out of the ordinary. I was leaving my girlfriend’s house after some conference planning the night was young but all I wanted to do is get home to get to sleep. It had been a rough couple of days with two deaths in my family so life was on the mind. One of the last thoughts before actually getting into my car was “I don’t think I’m invincible like most 20’s somethings, I just know I can’t die yet.”
Off I went down the road I had traveled many times, but I would never make it to my destination.

The freeway was slippery, slipperier than usual as hydroplaning seemed inevitable. I had slowed down the car enough, to accommodate, made sure no other cars were around me but even that isn’t enough. In one especially bad patch on the freeway, my car slipped out of my control as it spun 180 degrees to face oncoming traffic. I knew I was in trouble but this next part surprised me as the car was launched over the median landing me on upside down on the opposite side fo the road.

I still remember the smell, like used phosphorus of a match mixed with a hint of melted plastic, a scent that to the inside of my nose every time I closed my eyes to fall asleep this following week. I already knew my car was in trouble as I hung from my seatbelt starting at the concrete that replaced my windshield. I was miraculously unhurt from the flip, though I knew I needed to get out of my car quickly because I was on the wrong side of the freeway now.

My airbags had gone off but my door was still working. I unbuckled my seatbelt, pushed open the door and made it out to the open road. Cars were whizzing by, attempting to avoid the accident, I made it over to the shoulder and assessed the damage from there. For all intents and purposes, I was okay.

After a moment of trying to understand all that had transpired the next action popped into my head. I needed to call 911 and turn on my hazard lights in my car to avoid any more collisions. I didn’t have my phone on me though, it must have been back in the car.

Now attribute this to panic or a daze I left the shoulder of the road to get back into my car. I crawled in to the flipped vehicle trying to make sense of all of the disorder that my car was in. That’s all it took.

BAM.

I find myself rolling along the highways, out of breath, gasping for air. This time I can’t get up, my right foot feels strange. I look over, my car has shifted and behind it, another car smashed. Almost like a movie, I found myself crawling towards the shoulder in the rain. All I felt was the cold and the pain.

A black pickup truck stops, two men in orange vest’s get out and start asking me questions. They are polite, trying to help, start to set my foot and check for injuries. Off in the distance, I see the police lights stopping the flow of traffic. The two men splint my foot, check for broken bones, give me a neck brace and hand me off to a set of paramedics to cart me off in an ambulance. It feels like forever sitting under the rain but once I get inside I realize how much everything hurts. Sitting my back hurts, breathing my ribs hurt, moving my legs hurt. There I am getting to the hospital, moving from bed to bed being poked, prodded, examined, and kept awake.

I hadn’t lost consciousness that whole time, eventually staring at the ceiling of my medical room at 5 in the morning breathing straight oxygen feeling my bones ache. I was eventually transferred to a better hospital who could take better care of me in my condition. That first day was hard, not being allowed to drink water in the event I would need surgery (which I ended up needing).

Over the next couple of days, I had been carted from room to room, had emergency surgery on my ankle, more x-rays, CT scans, and IV’s than I could count. I was hurting but at least I could move through the pain. I was weak but at least I was getting stronger day by day.

I could barely get up on my own and spent most of my day in bed but by the time Wednesday happened I was already on my way out of the hospital. End count: 5 fractured ribs, 1 partially deflated lungs (that needed draining), one broken ankle, and a large back bruise.

In the end, I was lucky, it could have been so much worse. I am out of the hospital but it is not over yet, this road will be long, and recovery both short and fast but I am going to do the best I can to catalog the journey so that you can learn the lessons I am having to learn the hard way.

I will recover because there is so much more that I need to do.

A Strange Thing About Death

I’m sorry I missed my post last week, I don’t write because my grandmother had died so I decided to take people’s advice and rest to process all that was going on.

I’m really happy that I did, it gave me time to really sit and think about the relationships in our lives and how the dynamics will change with the loss of our families matriarch and give me a much-needed respite from the stress of my everyday life.

Now, I had been fortunate up to this point in my life not to have lost anyone close me, some family but not a grandparent. This though meant that I really didn’t know how exactly this news would hit me. It had be several weeks preparing for the what would become the “inevitable”. The waiting I think was the worst part, knowing it was going to happen but never knowing when. The conclusion I came to after all of this is that death, quite frankly, is…strange.

It’s not a gradual thing, even when it process happens over the course of a lifetime. Despite the metaphor of being ‘half dead’ there is no halfway with death, it’s one moment that you are living, and the next you are gone. Even when death comes with a slow weakening it only at the moment when the body finally shuts down when living gives way that death comes.

Death to me is just a fact, though one that sends ripples through the family and friends centered around it. To know that death has come is weird, because it doesn’t hit you all at once, at least not for me. It just is, or was when it happened. Life has to carry on for the rest of us still here but this new fact carries a cloud that follows overhead.

It makes you ruminate on memory, reminisces of the times with that person but like with the end of many relationships you think about all the missed opportunities the future will never bring. That there are things you did with that person that you never knew would be the last time you did them. An unfulfilled see you later or next time hold this weight make you wonder of how many of these we have in our lives.

Ultimately our relationships will change as the pillar that we derive some of these relationships from is now gone. The stings the bind us to each other become lax waiting to be pulled taught. Some of these relationships will fade away, others will strengthen but there is no doubt in my mind that they will change. Without that person, they will have to learn to carry on, without that person, we will have to learn to do it on our own.

What I thought of last is legacy, when someone dies their ability to manipulate the world personally falls away and so those around them must become the arbiters of their will. Even outside of the thoughts of heaven comes a true death, at least in this world. It is when someone is forgotten, their name uttered for the final time, or when the will becomes waves and then ripples and then still. She lives within me because I carry a part of her within and I am much stronger for it.

What is left is what is what I will carry with me, the words that she always spoke and resounded in my heart of hearts.

“Remember you are loved”

Thank you for the memories, the lessons and the love, both of you.

A Song of Celebration and Sadness

Looking back the last several months, there is a theme of my posts getting a bit darker, and less hopeful which isn’t usually what I like to write about especially since the words come directly from what I am feeling earlier in the week. It’s because there’s a feeling following me around which I haven’t been to identify, like a cloud not quite raining. I was afraid I might have been getting depressed but it was only until a few days ago when I was catching up with a friend telling her about everything that has been going on the last several weeks that it made sense. She mentioned that all the stuff that’s been going on just seems ‘heavy’. I knew it when I heard it, that’s exactly how it’s been – heavy.

You see I’ve been mixed up with a lot of things, school, life, work but everything that’s been happening hasn’t had a wistfulness to it. Each thing, serious and demanding attention, requiring one more thing to rest upon my shoulders and carry on. Good news comes with stress, and bad news comes with emotions to the point where everything seems to just level out and carry on in a way that makes sense.

I am happy, but I’m not too happy, I’m sad but not too sad, each time I receive bad news good news isn’t far behind leaving me confused and having this muddled mix of mild coursing through me making it hard to really enjoy anything. It’s frustrating because I can’t give the time proper time for my emotions to cultivate and sing. I want to celebrate all the great things that are going on, the amazing things that are happening and I doesn’t feel right. I want to sulk and mourn for the sad things happening around me and yet I don’t feel in the proper place or mindset. My emotions aren’t swinging, they are balancing and it’s hurting me.

I just keep moving, somewhere between the heavens and the earth, both flying high and sinking low all at once. I want to rest my this pack hold my life on a rock somewhere and have time to process all the things riding on my shoulders. At least now I know what I’m feeling and with that I can start doing something about it.

A Hope In The Moment

I think it’s a simple sense of hope that spurs it, or perhaps fear, but I find myself looking in my mailbox for a letter that may never come.

It’s the season of new hope and change, one caused by the artifice of new numbers and shifting times. We all push forth with that hope and desire to take this new time and alter the reality that our past has wrought for us. Even the most reluctant hear whispers of things that could be. But the the only promise that hold true is the promise from the sun to return ever brighter at the fall of each day until the moment words have become actions or regrets, and for some a whole new world awaits.

I have found myself developing a tick, one grounded in the uncertainty of my future. I waiting to hear back from these large institutions that hold the keys to a personally envisioned future, and all I can do right now is wait for an email of yes, no, nor maybe later. I usually really good at waiting, putting the worry out of my mind until it becomes pressing or relevant. This time though, with each pick up of my phone or use of my computer I end up sifting through my emails unproductively, waiting for that response.

The combination of hope and fear is what befalls me, knowing that any news doesn’t necessitate good news. I want to know, but not knowing also means that there is still the potential for something grand in my future. It’s a confusing feeling, but ultimately checking alleviates uncertainty so that I can resume my life.

I think a lot of us are like that, waiting for the outcome of our investments, whether it be in jobs, relationships, or personal growth. We just want to see that end result that blooms from our efforts. This outcome may take longer than expected, or ever be less than what we were expecting and yet it’s part of that big gamble at the end of the day. One we all take part in some time without even knowing the risks involved. We always get back into the game and play because that’s how life is lived, though it is uncomfortable. We all want to push forward knowing that nothing may return because the prospect of not advancing become so atrocious that it drives us mad.

I think what I want to leave on is this, there is hope in the future, whether it be where we expect it or someplace surprising. As someone who has spent the last several years learning to fail gracefully forward, the bumps and bruises on my body have always proven to be beneficial. Time is changing, every moment of every day so I choose hope and push forward knowing that things will happen in the time they need to and not a moment sooner. I think what matters most is spending the time making of the most moment rather than hoping and praying better moment comes along soon. Knowing I can put down my phone because the an email will come regardless of whether I am looking for it or not.

The Great Wind Down

I don’t think it would be a surprise to anyone to say I have been stressed the last several months.  I think it’s been apparent in my writings and my actions outside of them.  Like a candle burning slowly through the night, I feel exhausted now that everything is said and done.  I have finally finished all I have to do before the holidays,  but now that things are over I feel.. well… not as I expected.

Everything is over, sure I have lingering projects that I have to do over the break and my job is still going to be there on Monday but I’m done, I made it through the end of this section. I thought I would be happy, overjoyed at this accomplishment and yet I just feel so… empty about it all.  Like I have been putting so much of myself into this endeavor that when it came time to submit I forgot to put anything back in.

This emptiness has been manifesting itself throughout my everyday. Things like sitting in chairs listlessly staring into the white of the walls around me, sleeping like a madman who found the meaning of his life in dreams,  and a general sense of apathy.  These feelings have been following me for days now, and maybe it’s part of the recovery process, but it bothers me.  For someone who has been depressed multiple times in his life, these symptoms are worrisome, and if they persist I feel like it will spell trouble. I might be overly sensitive to these things but I can tell you being depresses is something to be wary of.

I think this is all part of a great wind down, this recovery from fried nerves, long nights, and so much worrying.  It’s hard to stop after so much frenzied activity, to the point where I am almost more comfortable working at hurried pace than the silence that comes after.  There is no gradual tapering off in this season, it’s just all and then nothing.

It’s in recognizing these feelings that start the process of healing, knowing that it’s okay to be not okay for a little while as my spirit returns to me. These feelings of anxiety and lack of productivity will be fine for some time, as long as they aren’t keeping me from what I enjoy.  That I have to express my frustration and emotions as they come and be content with the things that I have. To know that things will return in time, and I have to keep pushing forward. In recognition, I have the ability to fight against this and rise above.

Today marks the day to start to recover from this crazy rollercoaster I have been on for the last 6 months, which is a coincidence because it is my birthday too. 

WORDS, MY ETERNAL STRUGGLE WITH LANGUAGE:​ Revisited 3

I never really know what’s going to come out when I sit down to a page. I might have an idea about what I want to touch on but the words themselves only appear once I am sitting in front of my keyboard typing.

I have been thinking about this type of chaotic flow that bursts forth, this stream of conscious type of writing. While it has its benefits I find that the flow and quality of the post are lacking in some ways because of it. Without this plan, it sometimes feels like I’m stitching together an elaborate asynchronous quilt hoping that at the end of the day whatever comes out is coherent.

This form of writing stems from this frustration of not being able to put what I am thinking down on a page.  Regardless of how much I plan, there is a strange disconnect between my brain and my hands preventing the perfect prose from pouring out.  The compromise I’ve come to is that if my thoughts happen at the exact moment of my writing then there is no way I can mess it up.

I think the progress I have made in the last several years because of this method is evident in the way I put these words together but I feel like there’s another step I need to take. I want for my words to flow into sentences, which flow into paragraphs, which flow into one cohesive story.  A unit that is greater than the sum of its parts. This would require more planning and forethought I have been putting into my posts, what it will require is more time than I have at the moment. What it will require is me planning and preparing for this each week so that I can progress. I want this because if I continue to practice I may be able to go from a decent writer to a good one. One that people look forward to reading.

Ultimately, I’ve taken this year and used this blog as a means to cope and contend with the struggles brought on by going back to school. I’ve filled posts thoughts and feelings about this process in return, this blog has provided me with a sense of solace and grounding. I want to expand its reach, overcome these challenges growing week by week until I am where I want to be.  It’s this slow process that ultimately brings change, and change is what I need. At the end of the day I’m just an inquisitve piglet so thank you for sticking it out with me another year, I promise this next one will be even better.

Here is a link to my previous posts, I went back to read them and I am happy to see my progress over these last three years.
Year One | Year Two | Year Three

Clench.

I feel tense, my whole body feels as though it is still holding on to stress from this application season.  Most of what I need to do is behind me, but I don’t have the feeling of being complete or relaxed. I am stuck holding everything rigid, like a ghost is still there haunting me.

This feeling is like when I used to ride my motorcycle long distances through traffic.  Though it looks like motorcycles taking it easy and passing between cars it just the opposite, during traffic we are most tense. Going in between cars we have to watch for any little indicator of a potential of trouble that is to say it’s hard being invisible when there thousand pound vehicles that wouldn’t think twice to roll over you. It’s after these especially tense trips that I feel it. I would peel my hands off the handlebars of my bike and no matter what I did it would still feel like I was there, riding between the cars.  

I’m trying to let go, relax and feel alright, but I feel like this will be a process of recovery.  I have been going non-stop since the beginning of summer culminating to these past couple weeks.  My body doesn’t even know what to do now that the stress is technically over.  

Maybe I’ll take it easy, but not likely, I am sure after a couple days that feeling of needing to work will come over me again. I just hope that by the time that comes, I will be okay again.

On The Edge Of Uncertainty

There is really no way to know the future for certain. Even within statistics, the study of whether or not something may happen, the probability of certainty will never reach one-hundred percent. Yet we try failingly to see out the world in front of us.
We try and try again to predict, control, and pursue the fixed outcome but in this world, there are too many variables to take in account, too many lives and experiences to know anything honestly for certain.  In this world when we are shrouded in the fog of the future, it easy for us to break down and lose ourselves in all of the unknown.  

I had trouble this week because something that should have been made certain a long time ago was made uncertain for me again.  You see if nothing else I am persistent in my pursuit in higher education so in having gone through this process of applying for schools I should know by now exactly where the best place for me would be. But just like like a mirage in the desert, I saw what would be an oasis give way to only more sand.   I’ve come to this place where I must find my future in a sea of unknowns and yet once again before my eyes it seemed like that I knew evaporated before me.   It’s hard to act when I don’t know where I am going, it’s hard to push forward when I don’t know where forward is.  It was starting to twist my heart and bog me down. It is hard and stressful and I didn’t know where to go.

Now I don’t know if I am lucky or unlucky but I’ve been in these situations before and each time it doesn’t feel any better.  This crippling feeling of unresolved anxiety starts to consume all my thoughts and feelings. I get up in the morning and it’s right there sitting in my chest feeling like the whole world weight is concentrated in my heart. Throughout the day it feels been cast a bleak shade of grey to emphasize the hopelessness I feel.  Finally, at night it stirs in my brain keeping me up only to finally give me some reprieve when I eventually get to sleep.  I’ve realized that the for the most part, the reason all of this is happening is that a decision is left to be made. That through this indecision I freeze up and because I freeze up I stay trapped in this prison of uncertainty.

After much time like this, I was finally able to able to see the light and choose for myself how the path would go. It’s hard because we never know if we are making the right decision, or if we have all the informaiton.  We get trapped in the prospect of something new coming along that may change how we feel about everything.  All it takes is to make a decision about which way to go forward. To know that it’s okay to make a decision and change my mind later. Though I can’t say that all this anxiety and worry is gone, I can say that I am moving forward in a way that works and is functional.

I think what kills us about this uncertainty is that standing on the edge keeps us stuck between places.  This life in-between doesn’t work because we dont know where to go. It’s like dangling our feet off a cliff, the fear comes from what might happen and not what is happening. Sometimes just making a decision to jump to the waters below will allow us to be free of this suffering, instead of always worrying about whether or not we will fall in the first place.

Drowning In The Storm

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There is a sense of unease, too many I don’t knows, a perfect dash of insecurity, and a lot of bad experience to create this perfect storm that’s raging through my life right now.  It’s got me held up, frozen in place with no end in sight. Hunkered down, I’m scared of this storm and the destruction it may bring as I hope these walls I’ve built will be strong enough to weather the winds and the rains.  I am trying to hold myself together but I can’t, it feels like I’m coming apart at the seams, not even able to cry out this frustration I feel.  My hands are failing, my head if failing, I try to carry on, but I fold back into myself with every step. I try to collect that power within that I have been honing the last several years, but there is a scar there, a scar that has built up over many years of perceived personal failure.  This fear of failing again holds on tight as I ponder what that failure would mean.  I know it’s not fair to myself that I spend so much time worrying about what may never come to pass, but experience has got me trained on the idea that maybe all I am striving for won’t become anything. This part of me feels that I am not specific enough about what I want so I can never obtain it, that I am not worthy of it because there are so many better candidates for the position.  I worry because I see myself in the mirror sabotaging my future, destroying the very opportunity I am trying to create.  Part of me doesn’t want to know, it just wants to sleep until it’s all over with, push off this burden until this insanity ends, but I know it won’t, not unless I give up my dreams.

I keep coming back to this story, one I have told a lot recently as more as a funny anecdote from my life than anything really substantial.  This is back when I used to ride a motorcycle.   During the cold dark nights of the winter months, I use to drive from my parent’s house back to college in the early hours of the morning much to the chagrin of my mother.  There was this freeway I would ride on my way back that was a perfect kind of empty that time of night. With is more than a gentle slope, it would be the perfect place to pick up speed.  At times I would ride down that hill quickly accelerating, opening up the throttle to see how far it would go. Sixty, seventy, eighty the speedometer would quickly rise until I would hit speeds of well over a one-hundred miles per hour.  When you get to that speed on a motorcycle all you can really think of is, if I fell now, chances are I would die.  Nothing frightening about it, in some ways calming for all the wrong reasons as this was just the fact of things as I whizzed by, some kind of truth that gave kept me in the moment.  A thought that made all the other thoughts disappear because that’s all there was, just a fact.

I am missing that clarity, that straightforward feeling.  I just don’t know, and yet I have to push forward somehow.  It bothers me because I don’t want to be stuck in a place I know I won’t be happy but what does that mean for the alternative. I feel like I am slowly breaking down, dissolving piece by piece wanting to destroy this world around me and myself to give this pain I feel in my heart a physical presence.  I wish it were just a cut or a bruise, something that I can point to and see but this pain is permeating through to my core, unreachable and untouchable sitting deep with my chest making my whole body ache. It feels like I’m underwater gasping for air, with this burning in my lungs as I slowly lose the the air I need.  The piles of water above pushing me further into the deep, and all I want to reach the surface and see the sun.  I keep swimming as a way of fighting through just like I fight through everything else.   I know things will be okay in the end if I keep pushing to reach the surface, but it’s just hard to feel that way right now.

A Place for Shattered Dreams and Far Off Memories

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It’s a few weeks away now is a deadline which I have been building towards these last two years. I know I’m in a much better place than I was before but I feel vastly unprepared for the applications I must have done in a few short weeks. The applications that will act as a bridge to the place I want to go, the place where my dreams lie.
I am beginning to wonder if that’s on purpose, that my mind keeps me so busy that I have an excuse not to delve deep into the minutia of what could be a pivotal moment in my life.  Maybe that’s why I’m having such a hard time saying no to all these things that come my way. These things that take me away from what I should be doing for myself. It’s easy to make excuses if I am doing it for someone else.  I am not taking time to concentrate on what I want, what I need. I’m resistant to it because I am scared of it, this whole process because I have been burned by it twice before. I’m afraid of falling and wondering where I’ll end up.

I’ve had these vivid daydreams of all of us standing upon a hill, a hill made of broken glass.  Shards everywhere dangerously looming as we climb this hill we trying not to fall. Upon this hill, we climb and climb until we reach a place to stand atop it. Those willing to reach the summit are bathed in this light them and from their heart comes a dream in the shape of an orb as offering to this light.  This dream can carry them high up into the sky, but if the dream is not strong enough or the person two weak the both come crashing down to earth, to be cut by these hills of glass.  It’s for there we find out where we are, as some dreams fall and shatter upon the ground making that hill a little higher with pieces of its broken self.  I have fallen twice now, with a dream still intact, it’s my body which I’m worried about breaking because this time I will have the chance to fly higher than ever before, but that means I also have the change of falling father than I could ever imagine.  I know I shouldn’t be entertaining it but what could happen if I don’t make it if I don’t succeed. How will life find a way, and which part of me will break first my dream or me.

It’s here that I see myself, young and naive of the world I have strived to live.  I see this young apparition unphased by the fear and anxiety that experience brings with it. He is a different person than I but same in ambition. To be something great is always what he dreamed up. This resounding dream is something I carried with me, through time, shaping it to what it is now with experience.  It’s stronger and more well formed but still the same dream at the heart of it.  This young apparition gives me solace as it reminds me that at least I know that if no one else, the kid who I was years and years ago would believe in me. I carry it with because it is me, so soon enough we see how high my dreams will fly, and remember it’s always my choice to get back up again.