I did an unusual thing today, I let go of my ‘obligations’ and ‘to do’ list. I decided to walk to town because I’ve seen others do it and figured I needed to try. I need to get out of the house more, explore my new territory. I have missed walking.
I am not certain whether there was more traffic on my walks in Bremerton or on my walk in this small town. The funny thing is, people here will move to the other side of the road (for the most part), and most everyone waves. People moved aside in Bremerton too, but they never waved or showed much facial expression, like they do here.
Walking post-injury is not something to take for granted, being mindful of where my feet fall can be quite taxing. I twisted my ankle today and managed to avert a fall. I have to stay on level ground even with traffic coming the other direction.
In my letting go of the list of things to do today I realized I still put a lot of pressure on myself to be and do more than I am/can. Why? Because I’m in process about this whole adaptation to not only being disabled but now moving into being on Disability. Long story short, I realized a core issue is I feel guilty. Isn’t that odd?!
The old me who was deeply conditioned to make the grade, be a good daughter, neighbor, friend, employee has to let go of some of those labels and roles. I am feeling guilty for not working when God knows I’ve tried and failed, tried and failed. This is new territory and far more unstable than the ground I was walking on today.
I am feeling guilty for not being what I was raised to be, feeling less than even I think I should be. What does a person do with his/her life after being taken out of the mainstream? Who are we, any of us, without the things that once made us us? It is a difficult blow to my self-concept, even now, to not be working. Yet, it is not as if my life before was right and now my life is wrong.
I was thinking today, Brain Injury is the gift that keeps on giving (sarcasm). Brain Injury not only comes with the physical pain, but also the micro life quakes as you go throughout your days – making mistakes, social awkwardness, unintentionally causing ourselves injury, being exasperated with ourselves, the list goes on and on. There is a microcosm of events constantly taking place beneath the surface.
Today was a challenge, like many, but this one met with a migraine before I even got out of bed. At 3 am I was up, getting an ice pack, getting a cup of milk and taking over-the-counter pain meds. The migraine had already reached my nervous system and I was shaking, how odd to have a migraine dig in so deep before I was even awake. My neck has been hurting for days on end too.
I still decided to go for a walk because for just one moment, I needed to feel free.
I am glad I did to discover the heavy shroud of guilt I’ve been carrying. I will continue to ponder, be with it, explore, and process it well for its many lessons, insight, and eventual freedom.