My arms hurt. Just sitting here, arms draped evenly from my shoulders, my hips placed firmly under me and tilted forward, my upper back stretching to support my chest and hold up my chin. As best I know, this is good posture. It feels balanced, both forearms meeting my desk with an even weight and at the same time, it feels unusual.

My muscle memory seems to be confused. I’ve never been one to care much for good posture (other than when on a skydive,) preferring to slouch if a moment opportuned itself. Yet carelessly before I could stand up straight and move and work without a second thought- once properly motivated. That much is the same I suppose, motivation is key.

After a few weeks, sitting still and even is getting easier, though my elbows are still resting on the chair’s arms… doing it automatically, as I focus on the words that come to mind is much more difficult. Like walking- at home it almost seems a breeze, short distances and no audience. Even the steps, up or down once I’m warmed up I can do ‘easily’ with no hands if I tolerant bumping off the sidewalls of the stairwell (easy with no audience.)

Walking in public is getting easier again, as is walking and talking to some degree. Lacking enough focus on my steps I quickly digress, rather revert to one of the number of previous limp walking gates I’ve learned, with focus I can take some natural, aka ‘normal’, steps at peak times. Relearning, unlearning, learning again and now forgetting it all and just trying to let my body do what it’s been doing nearly my whole life, walking.

Rolling, sitting, crawling, standing, walking… I’m not sure of the timeline yet I know I learned it all and was even tying my own shoes (the proper way, none of that bunny-ears stuff from my sister,) by time I graduated kindergarten (which, coincidentally, I was earlier thinking… that was the last time I recall wearing a cap and gown.) Suffice it to say, I know I know how to walk.

Also, I know who I am as much as I ever did and I can generally hold onto a thought long enough to finish it myself at a later moment. Driving has been nice, perhaps the greatest benefit of getting myself to college three days each week. Lacking the now alleviated constant pain or perhaps gaining whatever segment of my brain was previously overloaded with spurious mechanical interruptions to it’s neural pathways, driving is much more fun, again- perhaps even more.

Yes, I’ve been driving again for quite some time since my incident. Tight, tense and huddled close to the wheel, scanning side to side and at first focusing on the coordinated arm movements required to smoothly operate the controls, over time building new muscle memory and comfort (relative to then recent experience,) as I forced myself to learn to drive, again. On top of the physical aspects, I can now see in relief how much my visual experience was affected. Now, I can “see” around curves again- visualizing the road ahead and anticipating my movements as I slide side to side, relaxed and smoothly shifting my weight from my left foot onto my accelerator.

Spatial recognition and visualization, short-term memory… I’m tempted to pick up a sudoko puzzle, just to see… if I can “see” it again. Rather- I can now fully see the situation I’m in- a solution crafted by what feels a previous temporary self: college. When ever was this my next best step forward? Timelines and deadlines? “Instructors” spouting falsehoods? Am I here to correct them or to learn? Yet now here I am. An otherwise free Tuesday spent doing homework.

How much of me turned off to tolerate the pain? Who was I then with no ability to focus my mind past the pain? A raw expression, an attempt to be alive, to be. And still, in that, to struggle to feel as if I was much more than a character in some twisted novel; a power I brought back to myself as best I could I suppose.

Five books worth of content, one published. When was this my best path forward? Yet, here I am.

Also, now I have a dog. I thought he’d doubled in size since I’d gotten him, so I bought a new scale to weigh him (and me, and me holding him…) I was wrong, he has tripled, nearly quadrupled in size by weight. Born on 7/19/23, he was scaled at 6.70 pounds on 9/19 and he’s roughly 24.5 pounds now. Look carefully, he may be appear to be the same size, yet now the blanket is unfolded…

Time to go? See you later? Tonight, next week, next month? I don’t know anymore. I needed a journal of my thoughts someplace I couldn’t lose it- I needed that. Now, I don’t. Without pain I can think and see, I can move and I can remember. Off Vyvance, four or five days now. I don’t need the amphetamine to push through the pain anymore. I’m waiting for my appetite to rebound.

Time for lunch, yeah, that’s what it is.

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