[Sober Living] Cigarette Burn Vision

Over the past week, I’ve been noticing flashes across my vision with increasing frequency, like cigarette burns, that then fade after a second. They’re the sort of sensation that I might see looking at a screen but also just focusing on something at the wrong time of day. There’s no real rhyme to it, but hopefully, there will be a reason for it that will be fixed soon, because I’m no smoker, especially with sight.

Man, that wouldn’t even be a good trip, dude…

Instead, it goes along with the migraine I’ve been having the past three days that’s been behind my right eye of lingering strength, sometimes calm and sometimes fierce, but always there, always lingering just behind my vision, just behind my ability to fix it. If I hold my breath, plug my nose and my mouth, then exhale, my right eye and ear will be plugged. When it’s behind my left eye, my left eye will be plugged.

There must be some kind of blockage causing this issue.

Whether it’s a vision problem or a dietary problem or a spine problem or a problem unknown to me, if I can experience the pain and relief differently, then there must be some kind of trigger for both the pain and the relief, and there must be some kind of long-term fix. I was talking to someone at work about my headaches. He said that his were caused by spinal issues so he learned the stretches that could help with his headaches.

I’m moving my head around with my eyes closed.

When I close my eyes I can still see bits of light seared into my vision, my eyes twitch, and I feel all sorts of spinal and eye weirdness, but I suppose that will happen if I focus too much on it. If I try to remove my focus from the headaches and focus on other external factors, that can help, but at the same time, when those imaginary cigarette burns sear into my vision, even for split seconds, it’s still weird enough to not enjoy.

I would say my vision is overall normal.

I don’t see many of the big problems that require immediate assistance. I’ve seen floaters all my life, although I’ve seen more of them in the past three months than my entire life combined. Whereas before, I’d normally only see them when bright lights were off to one side or the other, or through the rain and lights, now I… took a minute to look around and focus on searching for them, but I couldn’t find them… but I’ll see them on occasion.

I look at them as more of just the pathology amoeba they are.

When I get the pain behind my right eye, I can usually just breathe in, release, and that helps with that sensation. It’s still there, but lesser. I’m not sure what the long-term fix will be. The long-term fix might be to not stare at the screen so much. If I can type without looking, why not try to practice that no-sight typing more, then correct any typos later on?

Even that doesn’t fix the short-term issues.

If I had a specific plan where I had to close my eyes every, say, 30-minutes, or do the 20-20-20 rule, I can do that. I’m not sure how much that will help with the randomness of the situation, though, so I might just be looking at one aspect of the situation. The entirety of it might be a multifaceted issue. Maybe there is some kind of spine issue.

My previous chiropractor was about as useful as an automated massage table.

The pain from behind my right eye caused me to stop thinking for about fifteen seconds or so just there. Those are the sorts of issues that, maybe most people don’t care about? Maybe they can just live with it? I have a job currently, and for as long as I can endure these sorts of issues.

“Uh-what? I didn’t catch that.[1]”

This 3-day migraine does make it difficult for me to focus on hearing the usual information dumps I’ll hear about esoteric concepts told at blazing-fast speed. You’d think after nearly a dozen years, I would have encountered headaches to prevent me from catching all this information, but when I’m headache-free, I can catch all this information without even the slightest hesitation.

I call it black-box-troubleshooting.

Either the information needs to be redacted or the information was last updated by someone that left the company years or decades ago, so you’ve gotta learn it then figure it out nearly instantaneously. It’s like figuring out all the intricacies of life. The more we push in certain directions the more we can either advance ourselves or fail ourselves. I don’t yet think these headaches were caused by overexertion because I’ve had time to rest up. I don’t think it’s caused by too much computer usage because I haven’t been looking at computers much more than usual. If it’s strain over the complexity of situations, I didn’t have any eye strain while taking that esoteric black-box-troubleshooting issue just now.

This has only flared up without focus or at the height of extreme focus.

Somewhere in between, in these sorts of comfortable stretches of time where one can unwind from the high stakes pressures of someone screaming at you at a million miles per hour about some weird issue that’s not documented at all… those lulls should be for resting rather than headache-riddled pangs across my eyes, but at least they’re not overly painful.

I haven’t had any cigarette burns since I woke up.

The pain has just isolated itself to a throbbing pain behind my right eye.

Hey! I saw the white flash predicting a cigarette burn.

That wasn’t fun at all. Currently, I don’t think will cause any long-term damage. I think this will just be a matter of resting up over the next few days, then getting my eyes checked again…


Quotes: [1] Me, when someone was telling me some complex, esoteric concept.
Sources: My professional and personal experiences. This, I would later learn from Doctor-Number-Six/Eye-Doctor-Number-Two, is my migraine’s aura.
Inspirations: Explained in-line.
Related: Other Sober Living essays.
Picture: It’s not worth it to me, as a writer, to design pictures.
Written On: December 24, 2019 [21 minutes, from 12:50am to “left eye will be plugged” at 12:53am. From 1:26am to “these sorts of issues” at 1:37am. From 2:21am to outro at 2:30am, Gdocs.]
Last Edited: December 24, 2019 [First draft; final draft from Gdocs.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.