Deb Brandon: Living in Radiant Color


I should have known better. Why did I agree?
I don’t think well on my feet. I should know how to handle it by now. Why don’t I take time to think before I make a choice, before I commit myself?
I’ve learnt to compensate for so many of my losses. Why is this one so difficult for me? Probably because it’s self defeating in nature. Thinking to ask for time to think—that takes quick thinking, which I’m not good at anymore. I can do it within some contexts but in too many cases, I get flustered. Having to choose between complying and confronting causes me stress, which keeps me off balance. And I forget to listen to my instincts–I make the wrong choice, a choice that is detrimental to my health.
calendar.PNG It happens a lot at work. I start a discussion about a particular aspect of my job. Then as I down, I get caught off my guard. And my conscience overwhelms my instincts–I find myself yes to to taking on yet another role. Only rarely do I have the wherewithal to refuse.
Another such situation is when my issues with task initiation rear their ugly heads. I know exactly how to cope when that occurs. But again, when it comes down to it, I don’t connect theory and application. Even when I recognize that I’m having trouble starting an activity, which usually doesn’t happen, I forget to apply the coping strategy. I should block off time in my calendar to work on the task. But initiating that action stands in my way. I know I’ll do it, shortly, just not right now. I’ll get to it when I finish what I am currently doing—I will, I know I will, with absolute certainty.
Organizational skills are another example. I forget to split overwhelmingly involved undertakings into manageable chunks. I also forget to write reminders, lest I forget.
Back in the early days of recovery, I read that eventually, with practice, compensation techniques will come naturally, to the point where I won’t have to think about applying them. I’ll just do it automatically. But in so many cases, I haven’t reached that point, despite being more than ten years into my recovery, despite more than a decade’s worth of supposed practice.
Will I ever learn?