On Wednesday I had to go to several places on the way to somewhere else. Doing this always stresses me out but I figured it would be okay. First, I took Sparky to the doggie day care. On the door was a note saying the day care was going to move to a new location on March 31. “Uh oh,” I thought. “Now I’m going to have to figure out how to get there.” This may not be a problem for most folks but it is a huge problem for me.
I followed my GPS to get to my next activity which was working in the vegetable garden at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church. I knew I was running late so I was surprised when no one was there. I checked my Android and sure enough it had been cancelled due to the leader’s unexpected emergency. This worked out well for me since I was still concerned about finding the new doggie day care. However, it did throw me off a bit due to my difficulties with flexibility
I went home and tried to find the new location on a map but I couldn’t find it. The person at the daycare said she would write the directions out for me and put it in my file to get later so I spent some time getting ready for my afternoon appointment. I still wasn’t used to this appointment’s location so I felt my stress level go up. I found the location just fine, but I worried way too much about it. I was wasting what neurones I have left by doing this. I need to find a way to stop my stress level from exploding especially since little things stress me out.
I then had to pick up some dog food at a place near by. I had put the address in wrong in the GPS and I ended up in the wrong place. I felt my emotions getting a bit out-or-control so I pulled over and took some deep breaths. I knew I had someone else’s address in the GPS who lived near by so I used that one instead. I then found the pet store. My next trip was to the daycare. Again my GPS got me there just fine.
It is so difficult explaining what happens when my spatial orientation gets challenged. I think it’s a little like being drunk. I can’t figure stuff out at all when I’m in that state. That night I had Brainstormers support group a support group for people who have some sort of brain injury, but I really didn’t want to go. I was supposed to unlock the door without setting off the fire alarm and I was nervous about that as well. I sat quietly with my ear plugs in for a few minutes to “rest my brain” and then I walked over.
In Brainstormers we always allow anyone who wishes to share, to do so. I blabbered about my stressful day and my spatial orientation issues. I didn’t need any advice. I only needed to get my feelings out to people who understood. A person without a brain injury often has no idea what it feels like for a survivor to be lost. For this reason, I often minimize my problem with directions because people just don’t “get it.” I felt energized and relieved when I shared my struggles.
As a brain injury survivor, do people just not “get it?” How do you deal with this? Writing in my journal helps me a lot. Attending a group like “Brainstormers” where people know what I’m going through, is a godsend. What helps for you? See commenting instruction on the right above or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org