[Tripping On…] How’s The Head?

The tough-as-nails colleagues I’ve worked with over the years have overall been the nicest. They may be gruff but that’s their exterior. My eyes have been bothering me at work although I haven’t strictly had a mindbender headache as I define it – an uncontrollable, unceasing headache lasting for more than thirty minutes – but I still was asked, “how’s the head?[1]” It was just minor eye strain, and replied as such, but it was still nice.

Of course, I don’t expect much in terms of overwrought sympathy.

It’s just nice to know that people care, I suppose, which is the biggest difference I’ve seen between contracting where you might be around for a few days or weeks versus people seeing you daily for months. It’s like building up a narrative about people and how they act or what’s going on in their lives. For others, I might ask how their move went or how their ski trip went, whereas for me health has been one of the main topics of conversation, unfortunately, just because of how much it’s affected me over the past few months.

Unless we’re talking about anything else, really.

One colleague was telling me about show dogs, which was cool to hear not just because it was something new or because it related with my childhood dog Patrick, but because it’s cool to get outside yourself and hear about something new. With the tough-as-nails colleague, though, he just passes by my cube on his way into work and to get coffee, so he doesn’t really sit and chat.

It feels weird getting back into work routines.

Both after contracting for as long as I did and after having health problems for as long as I did. Even publishing essays twice a day doesn’t really show how it was like for me at work or in my personal life, because it just shows the surface-level with maybe a little bit more. Just like I’ve progressed massively in my personal development over the past few years since I last worked full-time before contracting, I’ve also progressed arguably more massively in my personal health over the past few months.

I’m trying to take better care of myself overall.

I’m trying to get longer amounts of sleep. I’m saying no to those four-hour naps I qualified as sleep back years ago. My calendar is my guide for when I should be doing certain daily tasks or when I need to do things, which is another addition that’s making a big difference, because I can’t say that I’m “too busy” to take care of myself. When I was sick like I was, I cleared off my calendar for all sorts of health assessments.

I don’t want to return there so the head’s gotta stay a priority.

That means constantly correcting my back and neck posture and doing what I can to avoid slipping into bad habits. It’s been a busy past few weeks since I’ve been headache-free, now hours shy of two weeks, so I have to be careful not to overdo it. I nearly did, too, but that was tension due to fatigue caused by taking on too much, rather than anything that was uncontrollable.

If left unattended, though, it would have caused a headache.

If I don’t want a headache in the future, I have to change my routines in the present, which includes doing what I can to stay healthy. I’m trying to stay as hydrated as I can. I just drank 300 milliliters of water, but rather than just snacking on sandwiches or whatnot, I have apples and carrots, and will be mixing up my diet.

These small changes can help immensely.

By avoiding bad things and introducing good things, my overall lifestyle can improve to a point where I won’t even be consciously aware of the subconscious adjustments I’ll do to my back and neck stretches, just like how I’ll course correct when I encounter stressful situations at work or life. If something’s bothering me, I’m more likely to say what’s on my mind, unless it’s a net negative for me to do so, in which case I won’t.

As of right now, the head is doing OK.

It would be nicer if I felt fewer sensations around the back of my head, but part of that was because I was sitting wrong, which is not something I should want to abuse just because I used to do that frequently in the past. Why would I want to regress back to bad habits if I can avoid it? Why do I want to carry the madness of others within me? That won’t do any good. The yelling of crazed people won’t do much to calm the yelling nerves and sensations within my own head.

I’d say the head would be better with a bit more calm.

How can I achieve that calm? When people give me good behavior, I thank them sincerely for it, and when they express rude behavior, I work around their behavior depending on the situation. I will more sidestep them completely than confront them directly just because if I confront them directly it’s more likely to escalate into an argument, and even if all the evidence points in my favor, it’s still a losing situation.

Otherwise, I’ll try to forget the situation.

The more I own it, the more it festers in my mind, whereas if I let my head remain clear to focus on what I want to focus on, life is better overall. Why would I waste my time and my life focusing on things that don’t help me feel better? I don’t want to be the victim in life. I want to succeed at all of my ambitions. When that colleague of mine walks by my desk and things are good, he says nothing, because there is nothing to report.

Otherwise, if I look like I’m hurting at all, then that’s a cause for concern for the team that should be addressed.

Quotes: [1] This question comes to mind as way to check-in with myself. I’ll ask myself that, seeing whether I’m being lazy or feeling fatigued.
Sources: My professional and personal experiences.
Inspirations: Throwing in some things from work and what not to show the real-world repercussions of these headaches.
Related: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Picture: No brainpower required for this template picture, which keeps the head in check.
Written On: 2020 February 26 [From 12:20am to “so he doesn’t really sit and chat” at 12:27am. From 1:10am to “my back and neck” at 1:20am. From 1:35am to “How can I achieve that calm?” at 1:40am. From 2:41am to 2:46am. Gdocs.]
Last Edited: 2020 March 05 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]
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.