Friends, I am so happy to tell you that I am going into the studio tomorrow to begin recording the audio version of my book, Lost and Found: Recovering Your Spirit After A Concussion. It is important to me that I share this work with my fellow concussion alumni in a format that is compatible with some of the typical limitations of the post-concussion period, including the vertigo and headaches that often come with reading print or digital text. As soon as the audio files are cleaned up, I will make them available via Amazon’s audio department, ACX, for purchase. Look for links here on my website!
In the meantime, here is another small sample from the book, short enough, I hope, that it will not bring on any symptoms!
What we see when we slow down
Since I was too dizzy to drive or ride my bicycle in the weeks after my concussion, I began walking. Just around my own neighbourhood at first—even small trips to the drugstore or post office seemed like epic outings when my brain was crowded with symptoms.
You see a whole lot more when you’re walking than via any other mode of transportation. It invites you to experience your five senses in ways not usually available in our regular lives.
On my walks, I noticed how the lavender plant in my neighbour’s front garden bloomed beautifully all summer long. With her permission, I would stop and pluck a couple of strands from its large bushy cushion and rub them between my fingers every time I passed by. The scent on my fingers was like medicine for my nerves (I learned later that lavender oil is used as a sleep aid and general calming agent).
Returning from walks, and not wanting to go back inside just yet, I would visit the garden, a sanctuary of calm which provided me with many delightful flavours to collect by hand all summer long, especially berries. From early July sweet strawberries, to the deeper red, scratchier raspberries that seeded themselves among the currant bushes, to a few highbush blueberries the birds didn’t eat, to the black currants, deepest purple and most adult berry of them all. I spent the most time picking these tiny dark globes from their large, treelike bushes, and turning them into jelly, one of the tart, musky and concentrated delights of midsummer.
The slow, unhurried action of berry picking gave my brain a simple and undemanding task that became a pleasure in its productive repetition: the same hand motion, finger grasping berry, container slowly filling with fruit. Just enough stimulation of the visual centre not to overwhelm, but satisfy.
It was astonishing to me how pleasurable such small manual tasks became in my shrunk-down, post-concussion world.
What are some of your own small but healing pleasures?