“Shoulding” on myself

In Brain Injury, Recovery by Emerson Jane BrowneLeave a Comment

Tonight I am having a hard time being positive.  I feel really badly about that.  Almost guilty; okay . . . skip the actually; I feel guilty.  I feel I should do better than this.  I find myself lacking.

I am having trouble being positive because I have had a long day and question how I have spent it.  One of the big problems I have from the brain injury is that I pretty much lack an ability to prioritize.  I literally am not able to figure out what is more important than something else.  Therefore I worry that whatever I have spent time doing might have been the “wrong” thing; that it was something far less important than something else that I did not do.

Parsnips-1I also feel frustrated at how long things take me.  I went into the kitchen around noon thinking I would quickly get some parsnip soup going but one thing led to another to another and everything took far longer than I had thought . . . I literally spent the rest of the day and evening in the kitchen!

The good news of what I accomplished is that I used up half the huge parsnips I have had since August and all of the apples I had harvested.  I had been keeping the parsnips and apples out in my “Root Cellar” (also known as outside in a plastic tub!) and had had to bring them in because of this freezing weather. At the end of this cooking craziness I had parsnip soup, vegetable soup stock (made from the parsnip trimmings & apple peelings), and fixed “doctored up” chutney that had not turned out well at first.  I doctored the chutney by making a huge batch of applesauce that I added to the original mixture.  The end result is a chutney that tastes good but Wow! do I ever have a lot!!  I will have chutney to give as gifts for the next two years!!  Hmm . . . wonder if it is legal to donate to an auction?

The other thing that fed into the inadequacy feelings came from an email I received from a friend tonight, sent to a whole group of us.  This friend was in a horrific accident in early September.  He had to have multiple vertebrae rebuilt and fused, and had/has other injuries as well.  He is recovering well but it is still a slow process.  His emails are so even keeled but overall positive. He has studied Buddhism the whole time that I have known him – which is over 20 years – and it shows in his emails and his approach to the whole situation.

So then, yet again, I find myself lacking.

My voices have taken up their chant that “I should” just be able to overcome this head injury; that if I only had the right outlook, attitude, or behavior the problems would just melt away.  From there it is a short leap to feeling that it is my fault that I am in this hole, and out come all the mental clubs to beat me up once again.

The reality is that it is these very same voices that actually got me into the predicament that I am now in.  They were so loud, so convincing, so strong that they not only enabled, they caused the denial that carried me down this long slippery slope.

Emerson Jane Browne
I am Emerson Jane Browne. I write about Brains, Apps, & Productivity, and many other aspects of Life. I speak to TBI support groups, speak and teach workshops at tech, music, and writer conferences. I consult with organizations on strategic planning and building a strong community.