This essay is excerpted from QWF Writes.
By Pearl Pirie
The first year after I had a concussion was a blur. I was dead to the world for three months, going in and out of sleep, exhausted. I had vertigo and difficulties with light, sound, and language. No reading. No computers. No writing. Definitely no multitasking. I had to rest for far more hours than seemed viable and consequently had to suddenly quit a few organizations I led, with no succession plan in place. I closed my small press, or as it turned out, put it on hiatus. I simply had no choice.
As with a stroke or cancer, a traumatic brain injury can be an opportunity to reexamine one’s life and priorities.
I had been heading towards burnout, and my concussion forced me to adopt a more balanced life, once I’d recovered enough. Now, when I overdo it, I go on concussion protocol: no screens, no concentration, less activity. The concussion encouraged me to do fewer things better, to slow down, to spend more time in nature and quiet and with friends. To go deeper, not further.