My neighbor, who I give rides to when I can to help out in errands, came over earlier in the morning.

NEIGHBOR: “Sorry about what happened to you.”
ME: “It’s okay.”
NEIGHBOR: “Anyway, you think you can give me a ride to…”
ME: “I just got in an accident. You know that, right? I’m not driving anywhere.”

Some people just don’t think, sometimes.

Sunday started out with a nice elliptical session. And thank goodness for sports. They distracted me for most of the day. I’ve been critical of the NFL as of late but I was glad to watch the first Sunday of the season. I also had alternative programming. The U.S. Open of Men’s Tennis was going on; Rafael Nadal won his 16th grand slam. And the WNBA Second Round was on as I watched the Washington Mystics and the Phoenix Mercury advance to the semifinals.

I feel like I can get back to The No-Look Pass pretty soon and start writing about the NBA again. I know some of you want some NBA content from me but, please, let me get through this ordeal before I can think about even doing anything else.

What I’m not ready for yet? Driving. Heck, I don’t even feel fully equipped to be on the road, period.

My friend picked me up so we can hang out for video games (because we’re 12), dinner, and sports/life talks. Just like in the old days, I’ll refer to him as Beerman. Anyway, Beerman told me that it’ll be okay as I sat in silence half the time. I closed my eyes for the most part during that three-mile trip. Isn’t that ridiculous? What’s so routine for 99 percent of the people is frightening to me. It’s just a three-mile trip. Beerman did his best by talking to me about Sunday’s sports.

We arrived at Nick‘s place (some of you may remember him as one of my co-podcasters from years ago). For the first time in a while, I felt relaxed. This was my first normal in what seemed like forever. I forgot about Tuesday’s events for that period. This was my good place.

Until we had to go to Wingstop for food. Again, the trip wasn’t very far but I was frozen once again. Obviously, the trip went well but this is what I have to deal with for the time being. After dinner, we chilled for about another hour before Beerman took me home.

I’m a guy who would rather drive than be a passenger. I apologized to Beerman for having him pick me up but he told me that it wasn’t a problem. He also told me not to force anything and to go by my own timetable and not anyone else’s. I felt relieved and thanked him.

I’m back to that tense feeling. But I know that being active (working out) helps me out. I’ll try to do it as much as I can without hurting my tricep, knee, and back further.

The road to my normal is difficult.

A few hours after Mom and I had that little tiff, I had a moment with her and I broke down. Mom was so confused on why I bawled. Then she told me what I already knew: she was just concerned about me.

I’ll say that it was a good cry. And afterwards, I was distracted for most of the day as my adorable nephew and nieces caused chaos as only they could.

I’m also overwhelmed by the fact that some people take their time to encourage me to get through this. They have no idea how much this means to me.

It encouraged me enough to not make Saturday a loss. I went back to schedule and did my arms exercises (bicep curls) and the elliptical. I’m looking into doing some yoga to help heal my back. While I am trying to get back into the swing of things, I also can’t be reckless with it. I can’t do any lifting or exercises that would compromise my back.

I’m also nursing a bad left knee and a bad right tricep. But I say that still doesn’t compare to my mental makeup.

After the family left, I felt tense again. Later on today, my friend is picking me up so we can hang out. This will be another test for me because I’m pretty afraid to be on the road. But those two friends know what I’m going through and they’ve been nothing but supportive.

The goal right now is to just get back to my normal. I want to feel relaxed. I want my heart to beat normally again. I want to be able to manage my physical pains (it would be great if I can feel 100 percent again but I’m not sure if that will ever happen). And I want to be able to be on the road, whether as a driver or a passenger, without being terrified.

One step at a time.

I’m going to continue to write about my progress until I feel like I can be myself again. That feels so far away at the moment. All week, my body has been tense and my heart feels like it’s about to burst. Also, I’ve been hyperventilating and the nurse noticed it while we were going over treatment.

I received some excellent messages over the past few days and I can’t thank enough all the people that have checked in on me. Sometimes, a “you can do it” or “you will get through this” text is enough to lift me up. I truly appreciate that.

One told me to take it “step by step.” Another told me to take my time and not let fear take over me. And another told me that things will become normal over time. So I took all that in (along with a few other messages) and had this grand plan that I will try to get back to my routine.

We’re supposed to be celebrating my dad and my brother’s birthdays today. Mom then talked to me and mentioned how much I’m hyperventilating. Before I could even say something, she went on to say that the reason that’s happening is because I’m fat.

Thanks, Mom.

I didn’t react kindly to it. One of my insecurities as of late has been my weight, which was why I finally decided to do something about it. I had been exercising and working out in the last few weeks so I can finally look and feel healthy. The accident obviously interrupted it and, like I said, I had this plan on going back into working out.

Mom didn’t take kindly to my reaction, either. She yelled out that I’m a crazy man.

I’m currently in my room writing about what just occurred. This is not the first time Mom has done this and this is her weird way of showing that she’s concerned about me. I also don’t think she realizes she knows what I’m going through. She probably thinks I can just brush off one “minor” car accident.

Again, my body has yet to relax since Tuesday. And my heart continues to race. I also have hypertension at the moment (which my nurse has been monitoring since Wednesday). She attributes it to the trauma and, of course, the extra weight I’m carrying. I also wish I could stop thinking about my near-death experiences in 2002 and 2004. I just can’t help it right now, though.

This is such a hard battle right now. But the day is early and maybe my body and mind can function better later. If not, I’ll just take what my high school counselor told me when I was depressed in 10th grade.

“Every day is a new day.”

I hope that new day isn’t far away.

Writing about my life has been great therapy for me in the past. And this is why I’m writing about this.

I’m not living the greatest life at the moment.

Most of you know me as optimistic, happy-go-lucky, and an everything will be all right-sort of guy. It’s tough to feel like that these days for me.

As some of you may know, I just had a car accident last Tuesday. As far as accidents go, it wasn’t that major. At least, it wasn’t totaled is what I’m saying.

What has become major, though, is my mindset.

It’s tough not to feel afraid about being on the road at the moment. If what happened to me can occur at any given moment, who’s to say that it won’t happen again tomorrow or next week?

It seems silly to think about it but I can’t help but think this way. My mind reacts like that.

Unfortunately, this was not my first car accident. It was actually my third. But the second one was traumatizing enough that it took me two months after the accident to start driving on the freeway again… and that I always think about the anniversary of that event (October 14, 2004 will never leave me). I always felt that one more thing that went wrong in that accident would’ve gotten me killed. And because of that Tuesday, I actually remembered a near-death experience in 2002 that I had forgotten.

What’s even worse is that before that accident, I was already having some anxiety attacks that I never had before the summer started. I’m still shaken over the death of a good friend from last year (I still miss you, Colleen). A friend that I played basketball with since high school died on the court last spring. And then two more relatives in the Philippines died a few weeks ago in different circumstances in consecutive days. I seeked therapy after that happened and I thought I was feeling better until the accident.

(And I didn’t even talk about the fear of being profiled AND mother nature going on a rampage in this country. Those definitely don’t help.)

I just want everything to be where it was for me. I just want to be able to write about basketball without thoughts of disaster interrupting. I just want to be able to do podcasts without having to feel so paranoid about everything.

I do have some of the support of some great friends and great people. Unfortunately, this is where I also find out who my real friends are. But at this point, any support would be great because I don’t want to have to feel like I’m going through this alone.

This fight is just beginning.

Life is so unfair. A longtime friend and supporter of mine, Colleen Burns, tragically passed away yesterday.

But thinking about Colleen, it didn’t seem to matter to her that life was unfair. She was always smiling and her eyes were always lit up. It was like Colleen was everybody’s happy place. She took on life with so much vigor and energy that it was like she always drank 40 cups of coffee every day.

I first talked to Colleen in 2009 when she followed me on Twitter. She was so passionate about the Orlando Magic and her love for the team and the sport was so infectious. She started LadyBallers in an effort to get more women talking about sports. Colleen was always about community as she worked for Yelp Orlando and was the organizer of Kaskade Konnect (a community for Kaskade fans). She was always about making everyone smile and I always loved that about Colleen.

Colleen and I kept in touch throughout the years. Most people know that I text pop song lyrics with people I truly love and she’s one of those individuals that got them. In fact, our last exchange through text last week was about LFO‘s Summergirls.

Now she’s gone. But she’s not forgotten. I will never forget her constant sparkle. I will never forget her smiling face. I will never forget her contagious positivity.

Rest in peace, Colleen. We all love you. I’ll see you soon, my friend. Keep on dancing in heaven.