I’m Back…After 144 Days

My last post was on January 3rd. So much has happened since then. After twenty years of contact sports, a car wreck, and periods of substance abuse, my brain was in need of some TLC. SPECT-scans at a specialist clinic confirmed my suspicions. I had damage to five different regions of my brain, along with an overall decrease in activity. I received 40 hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy treatments between mid-March and mid-April. The results have been nothing short of remarkable. Blood and oxygen flow has been increased, new connections have been made, and my brain’s capacity has been restored by up to 40%. It feels as if I have had a brain transplant- that is the only way to describe it. I feel like a new person. I have been gifted with a second chance at life, and I plan on making the most of it.

So far, my energy, focus, endurance, and mood have all shown improvement. Not only has my overall mental capacity and outlook improved, I have been inspired to take on new challenges. In a matter of a few weeks I have learned how to juggle three balls with relative ease. I have coupled this new physical challenge with learning a language. My wife spent her early life in Norway and has a strong grasp on the language. With the possibility of moving to Norway at some point during my son’s childhood, I have taken on the task of learning Norwegian. I now know a few hundred words and do my best to spend 20-30 minutes a day on lessons. My wife and I have also made an effort to play chess a few times a week. These three changes, although seemingly mild, have had a dramatic impact on my quality of life.

I have a renewed desire for learning and growth, a rejuvenated interest in spiritual development, and an outlook on life that is rooted in positivity. I am excited to see new places, meet new people, and do new things without hesitation for the first time in my life. Despite these positive changes, I have a lingering sensation of regret for lost time. I feel as if I completely lost a decade of my life. From 20-30, my life was a continual struggle. Little did I know that I was battling with bipolar disorder, brain damage, and adult ADHD. I am much more forgiving with myself than I had been before these diagnoses. I just couldn’t seem to get myself or my life figured out and I was very hard on myself until now. I have forgiven myself for my ignorance and lack of action, and am focusing on making the most of the time that I have left.

Following the chamber treatments, my remaining medication is no longer needed, I take care of my two year old son for 40+ hours a week, I’ve started exercising again, and I am exploring Jungian psychology in hopes of reconnecting with my Self. I am going to take the necessary steps to tap into my unconscious mind and operate with an unprecedented level of clarity. I am going to surrender my ego and conscious mind to the power of my unconscious and allow it to properly guide me for the rest of my life. It should allow for an inexplicably fluid and creative journey. I am looking forward to writing again, interpreting my dreams, and tapping into a deep relationship with my unconscious in order to complete the process of my own individuation in order to become the cosmic man and my complete Self.

Self-Awareness: Gift or Curse?

I continually feel as if I am floating above myself-as if I am watching myself from outside of my body. Is this normal? Is it healthy? There are times that I feel as if this level of self-awareness is a curse. How sweet it would be to be on autopilot; completely within the realm of the unconscious. Do most people experience the world on autopilot? Or are all of us predisposed to an experience that requires us to be permanently conscious actors? Are we in control? Or are we at the mercy of our subconscious?

I know that the unconscious mind is a determining factor in our daily lives. I know our conscious mind plays a role in that experience as well. But, to what degree? Are we conscious actors determining our fates with every “choice” that we make? Or are we destined for the hard-wiring of our brains? Is it free will? Or is it destiny?

I come back to that question time and time again. No matter how much philosophizing I take part in, that remains the fundamental question. Am I choosing to press these keys as I write? Or is my subconscious merely playing itself out in a predetermined algorithmic fashion? I like to think that I am the master of my fate and the captain of my soul…but so much of my life has come to pass without my choosing.

Maybe it is just part of the human condition. Maybe we are meant to have an idea of both free will and destiny because we are not meant to know. Maybe we are supposed to continually question the meaning of our existence, and the conundrum keeps us in the present. Isn’t that where we are supposed to be? Aren’t we supposed to be in the here and now? We can’t relive the past, and we have not yet experienced the future…the present is all we truly have.

I walk, I talk, I breathe, I eat, I sleep, I experience the world around me through a narrow bandwidth of sensations. Am I experiencing reality? Or am I reality experiencing itself? Who am I? Where am I? What am I? Why am I here? Will we ever know the answers to these questions? Am I merely an intelligent ape on a watery rock cursed to a short, brutish, and finite life? Or am I an infinite spirit having a human experience to further my consciousness, in order to resonate at a higher vibration, so that I may experience a more supreme level of reality? I like to tell myself the latter, but at this rate, either one could be true. Am I choosing my reality, or is my reality choosing me? No answers. Only questions.

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