My child accidentally concussed me on January 4. It’s an interesting story that I am saving for my Listen To Your Mother audition next month, so I won’t go into it here just yet.
For some reason, even though I couldn’t remember my own birthday, I totally thought I was fine. “You don’t need to take me to the hospital,” I said to my mother-in-law (who is a saint). “I’ll be …”
Then I trailed off. And I was slurring.
“Did I already tell you that you don’t need to take me to the hospital?”
She steered me into the car.
For a full two weeks after my injury, I insisted on trying to carry on with my normal activities as though nothing had happened. I remember almost none of it. It was almost exactly like that time I had about five too many mimosas at brunch and thought I was still okay to drive, and then I backed into another car trying to get out of my parking space. Everyone who was dining on the patio turned around and stared. I was mortified.
BAD, TERRIBLE, AWFUL LIFE CHOICES.
Clearly, I was not fine after suffering a head injury. I was saying things I normally would not say, and doing things I would not normally do, and after embarrassing myself all over town it eventually it sunk in that I really was not going to be able to “power through” this.
And then I got really angry.
The anger phase sucked. I couldn’t exercise, I could barely drive — I say “barely” because I could manage to putt 10 mph for two blocks to get my smaller two to preschool every day, but anything faster than that triggered my vertigo — I wasn’t supposed to look at screens. I did anyway, until I ended up in the emergency room a second time (pictured below).
I missed writing. I missed my online communities. I missed feeling connected to the world outside of my home.
I was alone, with nothing to do, a lot.
I had time to think. SO MUCH TIME TO THINK. At first I was like, maybe this is a gift. Maybe I can learn from this. Maybe I need to work on becoming more mindful.
And then I realized … mindfulness sucks. Mindfulness blows. Mindfulness is the worst possible thing when you are a writer who is unable to write. I had the most amazing, deeply profound thoughts.
And then I forgot them.
Because I had a concussion.