Thursday, March 24, 2011

Maybe Next Time

The constellation of relationships in my personal universe seem to be changing. It seems a little different from the usual dance of some folk coming in and some folk leaving; of some folk moving closer and some folk moving away. In some ways it feels like a contraction is taking place. What I do know is this introvert is having even more difficulty finding the energy to keep up with folks I care about. I know part of this could be the result of my delight with the primary relationship I'm in. I do so like spending time with this marvelous woman. I know, too, part of it is my focus on riding. I thrive on the feelings of sanity and wholeness riding brings to me. At times it feels like my world is getting smaller, yet if so, it is definitely different than the way I closed in on myself in the months and years after the head injury. So, it is a mystery. Perhaps it is simply a shifting and a sorting out.

Last night I cognitively decomposed at J C Penny's. I went there to buy a pair of pants. Simple, yes? No. Actually, it was rather simple until I went to check out. The clerk kept asking me questions and giving me choices. I'm sure she thought she was being helpful, but she wasn't. Too many options led to overwhelm, which led to confusion, which ended in complete befuddlement and frustration. I froze up and just kept saying, "I can't do this. I can't do this," over and over and over again. Fortunately, Heather was with me. She had the clerk cancel the sale and got me out of there.

I am happy that these episodes happen quite infrequently now. Their frequency has radically decreased since I began riding. There are times when I begin to think that perhaps I'm back to being my old normal self, but then along comes a reminder like the one last night--a reminder that I am who I am now.

I've learned on those days when I'm having a "bad brain day", a day when I struggle to get my thoughts moving in a good orderly direction, going for a ride brings a clarity and order to my cognitive chaos. Last night after the episode at Penny's I probably should have gone for a ride, but honestly, I didn't think of it. It still strikes me as being rather counter-intuitive that it could be a good idea to ride when my mind is so muddled, yet it is. Oh well, another mystery of this life I'm living.


  1. Dear Keith:

    I have had episodes in which I am driving someplace and can't remember who I am going to see or why. Twenty years ago, I flew to San Francisco and ended up calling my secretary to find out what I was supposed to do there. (I even went to the wrong hotel.)This is absolutely true. And as far as I know, I never had a head injury.

    I'm glad your significant other was with you. If this is the worst thing that will ever happen to you, than start buying lottery tickets. You're gonna be rich.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  2. Interesting blog mate, You have in your understated way summed up why we all ride. We all got inot riding for different reasons, regardless, the reasons we continue are all similar.

  3. Hi Keith,

    Where one of those jelly bracelets that says something that will ground you when something like that happens. And hopefully remind you to get on Billie when you get home. Even if it is just around the block 5 times. (Yeah, you won't stick to that block and you know it.) The cobwebs will lift and clarity will focus.

    Peace. Just remember that it was so much worse a couple short years ago.

    :) -Lori

  4. Jack: I do understand how lucky I am and that I have already won a lottery of sorts. All I have to do is visit the voc-rehab center I went through to remind me how far I have come and how much worse it could have turned out.

    Thanks for stopping by,

  5. Roger: Thanks for your comment. It is interesting the similarities in why many of us ride, isn't it?

  6. Lori: There was a time when I carried a notebook around with me and had to record each time I changed location or completed an activity. I, also, carried a set of worry beads as a tool to help me maintain the tether between memory awareness and temporal awareness. I have a very well stocked toolbox of cognitive resources and I am grateful to have them. Things are so good, that I get surprised by that, as you correctly point out, was not all that long ago a common occurrence.

    Thanks for your support and for commenting on my blog.

  7. Keith, I'm glad that you have been able to move beyond that! And found a great tool to balance you. :) Would love to have the chance to ride with you sometime. And you can show me flamingos. :)


  8. Dear Keith:

    You have ridden farther and colder than I have in the past year. You should come over here and give me lessons.

    Fondesty regards,
    Jack/Twisted Roads

  9. Jack,
    It has been a good year for me. I'm hoping to hear of your riding exploits as they unfold. May your hips loosen and let you ride to your hearts content.