The In-Between Time

I’d like to request an off switch. I’d like some way to eliminate the in-between time, the dull and frustrating hours of limited functioning that seem to stretch endlessly between the brief awakened moments when I am functional and feel like “me”. I’d like to savor all the chewy yummy center bits of my burnt cookie of a life and leave all the black charred remains behind.


Wouldn’t it be nice to just be able to eat the good parts?

After more than two years of this half-existence, I wonder what is the point of slogging through the in-between time of dysfunction? I become a blank-eyed, unregulated person when I am fatigued. I don’t want to spend any more time as that person.  Someone who is here yet not here. Who sees and listens, but who doesn’t understand. Who wants, but can’t have.

When I am fatigued, I find myself laughing, crying, angry, suspicious, whiny, and aggressive within the space of 10 minutes, and fully embodying each of these emotions as only a child can. My core tells me each moment that this particular feeling is the full truth of the situation, untempered with the 40 years of experience and perspective I know I have. I do have… somewhere in this brain of mine.

Regardless of how I fight it, when my energy is gone my eyes glaze, my hold on the present moment weakens, my spirit drifts away until some nebulous, unknown time in the future when I’ll have enough energy to synergize myself again.

What is the point, really? I would love to not have to waste awareness on this in-between space and instead just show up for the times when I am myself again. In any particular day, that might be 20 minutes, or 8 hours, or maybe nothing at all. Weeks can go by, months, and I do not show. I would prefer, and I expect those who have to deal with me when I am unregulated and fatigued would prefer, that I simply get plugged in somewhere to heal. Shut down into a stasis state so all of my energy can go to recharging and healing my brain. That would be an efficient and effective solution. The misery in my life would be cut by 90% at least.

Maybe I watched too much Star Trek as a child.


Maybe plugged in at a station that wasn’t quite this creepy…

Yes, yes, I know it is important to be aware and awake even during these painful hours of purposelessness. Stimulation = neurons growing = healed Kim. Eventually. So I’m told. I guess.

Would I really prefer to be shut off except when I am a functional(ish) human being?

Maybe not.

I’ve logged a lot of time with my cats over the last two years.  I like them.  I would have missed out on that.  The view out our living room window is quite peaceful and soothing.  I definitely wouldn’t have enjoyed the view nearly as much if I wasn’t injured.
Sunrises and sunsets. Those are worth seeing. I know each of us has only about 30,000 sunrises and sunsets to enjoy before our spirits leave our bodies. It seems foolish to miss even one. Invariably, though, routine and familiarity means that even if I am awake during those sunrises and sunsets, I will likely only really savor a few hundred, or perhaps a few thousand.

Maybe that could be the point of this in-between time. Certainly not anything having to do with being a productive member of society. Definitely not a time of building healthy adult relationships. But, maybe, just maybe, an opportunity to not have anything else to do, so that I can get back to the details of life. The little things that I can’t help but miss when I’m busy. The grass awakening in spring. The joy of getting out of the house for a quick ride in the car. The excitement of mail being delivered.

Little things, true. Barely worth noting as a healthy human adult. But for someone whose life has become so painfully small over the past two years, notable, and sometimes important. Perhaps this is my gift from the Universe, to make sure I enjoy all of these little upticks in life.

All things end. Even this exile from self will end, eventually. I don’t like the cards I’ve been dealt, but I’m going to play them as well as I can. I’m going to appreciate what I have, while I have it.


About csequoia

I am the writer of The Foggy Shore blog, with a professional background in Environmental Science. Right now, I'm working on a book about living and healing from post concussion syndrome.
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1 Response to The In-Between Time

  1. …’get back to the details of life’ – I like that. Concussion does change your outlook and life stripped bare and made small is an opportunity to notice things we would not normally be aware of. I like that.


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