I did a much more difficult drive today. I drove to the clinic, which was two miles away from home. The road to the clinic is pretty much a straight line. I make a right then I make a left and the clinic is to my right.

But I was shaking and was in tears for a bit. In the moment, it’s so hard. Once again, I was hyperaware of everything. I remember getting all panicky when the car behind me was going fast before deciding to overtake me. I also had a few stop-and-go moments, which luckily happened to me at the school zone that happened to be empty at the time.

It was a relief to arrive at the clinic. The physical therapy instantly made me feel better. And it was back to the road after about 45 minutes.

The ride back was a bit easier. But it was still pretty tough. Not as many stop-and-go moments. I made it through.

I’ve decided that I’ll only drive if I have to take myself. As of now. If I, say, want to go hang out with a friend, I’ll have the friend pick me up.

And I hate that there’s a count in my head concerning when I’ll be okay to drive normally again. Especially since I remember that it took me two months to drive on the freeway the last time I had an accident (I was driving myself to the clinic then, too, but I had my accident on the freeway in 2004).

I wish I had a chauffeur.

The one behind me should suffice.

I see you sneaking around…

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I will conquer this fear. I don’t know when. But I will.

I drove earlier today.

It was just kind of a last-minute decision on my part. After my fourth straight day of meditation, I decided I needed to get out there and face the music.

It was tense. When you’ve been in an accident (in my case, a few times), you just become hyperaware of everything. It’s ridiculous. You notice if a car is getting too close to you. You notice if a car is driving too fast. You notice the pedestrians even more as they try to cross the street. And I become super careful about everything. Even though driving carefully has given me some bad luck over the years. I had my hands on the wheel on those ten o’clock and two o’clock positions.

But I did it. I drove around for a couple of blocks. I had my iPod off so I could concentrate more. Ugh. This is all so silly. When I parked back at home, I turned the music on and did a bad falsetto of Ring My Bell.

Then I walked into my room and I started shaking. But this was something I had to do. I’m gonna try to drive myself to the clinic tomorrow (this one’s considerably farther; about two miles). It’s mostly a straight line to the clinic as well but for me to move on with life, I have to do this.

I still feel tense now. Paranoid. A bit jumpy, even. It’s like I’m driving for the first time again. But I have to keep going forward.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

This is stressful.

But hey, I still have the dog getting in my way of watching basketball so not all things have changed.

And now I’m nervous for releasing a basketball article for the first time in months. Even THAT is giving me anxiety now. Sheesh.

A bit more stressed with all the… I’ll call them outside forces that have to do with the accident. I kind of don’t need this right now. Still tense. It’s hard to shake it.

Other than the third day in a row of meditating (whaddup, Headspace), today hasn’t been as productive. I did pump my basketball and did a little dribbling. I contemplated taking a walk to the park (the nearest one is like a mile away) but decided against it. I definitely wanted to put the ball in a hoop but there was no way I could run, especially with my back, knee, and shoulder pain.

Put some air back into my life. Basketball, give me strength. #BallIsLife

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You know, basketball has always been there for me. Without fail. It’s given me a bit of a career writing about it. When I was more or less bullied in my junior high years, I more than evened the score by schooling those same kids in shootyhoops. I was in a dark place in late 2011 to early 2012 when Linsanity hit. Being an Asian hoops writer, I was kept busy with interviews from podcasts and radio stations.

I just wish I could play it right now. But I think writing about it will help me get back to my normal. That’s why it was perfect for me to write (which I love to do) about basketball (a game I have loved forever). Just talking about it is giving me this surge of energy.

But ya know, I also made the decision to continue dropping some friends. I’ll just say that these people have given me a negative vibe and just like I’ve done over the past decade or so, I will continue to let go of people who bring me down.

I looked back at what happened after the accident in 2004. It seemed a little easier to heal because I had a girlfriend at the time. She made it so much easier for me to recover by being there every day. Whether she was taking care of me or she was calling me before I went to sleep, she made my existence worthwhile.

I want my existence to feel worthwhile. I know basketball helps me in that. But sometimes, I do want the positive people to make me feel worthwhile. Not only because I write about hoops. But because I am me and that they care for my well-being.

Well, that was all over the place. At some point, I’ll make it out of this. I have to.

Not a W today. But I still think I’m making some progress even if I took two steps back today.

I’m a talker. I’m a chatterbox. Talking is what I do.

But I had trouble doing that today. I was nervous to even keep a conversation on the phone. I stuttered and stumbled a few times. I was hyperventilating a bit. I found it a bit peculiar because I certainly didn’t act that way with the nurses and the chiropractor at the clinic. Or maybe I was but not as much. Anyhoo, maybe it’s because it was a complete stranger on the other line (it was a phone call I needed to have).

I did my second day of Headspace and I legitimately think this is going to save my life. I always feel this serenity after doing some meditation with the app. I got back my jitters after a bit but the more I get into meditating, the faster I’ll probably get back to being me. The tense feeling on my shoulders has been on and off today (it’s currently on as I type this but it’s not as tense as it was the first seven days or so).

Social media was hellish at the start and I kinda wondered to myself why I would continue to subject myself to idiots. But it became a good diversion towards the end of the day (yeah, I’m aware it’s only a bit past 7 PM; shut up). The NBA and Nike revealed some jersey designs for the upcoming season. I like them for the most part.

But let’s take a look at the Minnesota Timberwolves jersey.

Well, most of you know I have some sunglasses handy.

Anyway, I’m probably going to dial down on social media a bit for the next few days to see how I feel. I do think that I’m finding my way a bit back towards the sports spectrum so I hope that I can start writing at The No-Look Pass in a few days or so. Not only am I a talker but I AM a scribe. Maybe not very good but whatever. I love to do it. Writing is a part of me. And writing about my journey back to my normal has been part of my therapy.

I appreciate all of you. Thanks for the distraction, sports and Twitter friends.

Even if I stuttered a bit today.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

I don’t feel as many jitters today. But it wasn’t an easy start for the day for me.

On the way back home from the clinic today, I freaked out twice. The first time was when a car nearly ran a stop sign on our right side. The second time was when we were close to home and the car nearly backed into us. I was relieved when the trip was over. The road sucks.

I did get home to this, though:

It’s rare for me to get snail mail but an old friend (I know her online as Riven) from way back in the anime message board days (I know!) sent me a card and a letter. It immediately lifted my spirits.

Riven was one of the people (there were quite a few of you; thank you for that) that suggested Headspace. It’s a meditation app and it definitely helped me relax a little. And I cannot thank the friends that have checked in with me from time to time. Everybody has busy schedules but I’m so glad they took the time to even send me a text, tweet, DM, FB message, etc. Their support means everything to me.

I also called a hotline another friend from the anime community suggested. It was good for me to talk it out and the woman on the hotline was very good to me as well. Coupled with the physical therapy, I’m currently feeling the least tense since the accident. The sports that are going on (WNBA Playoffs, bad NFL Thursday night game, MLB regular season homestretch) have also served as a great distraction.

But once again, I don’t look forward to going on the road tomorrow. Still, I’ll call this day a win.

Now I need a looooong winning streak like that Major League Baseball team from Cleveland.