Sharing the lessons along the way…

Calling a Time-out!

When I was a little girl, I hung out with my older brother’s friends a lot and sometimes boys get rough.  During the daily games of kickball during the summers in our yard, when things got rough, I would start asking for a time-out. 

When my brother denied my request, I would cry and start screaming for the time-out.  I believed if he would have just granted me the time-out when I asked the first time, then I could have avoided being the “cry baby” altogether. 

Little Tawny

If you can picture a 6 or 7-year-old little girl standing in the middle of a yard full of little boys with her hands on her hips, glaring squarely at her big brother on the pitcher’s mound, then you can imagine what I used to look like.    Add a red, tear-stained, dirty face, and a right foot stomping into the ground, and you really have the visual.

Over the course of my life and particularly over the last almost ten years with Primary Lateral Sclerosis, I have had many occasions to cry out for a time-out.  Sometimes I could get a short reprieve from whatever chaos I was experiencing, as if it had been universally granted. 

When one was not granted, I would feel like that red-faced little girl looking out at life as if it were my big brother on the pitcher’s mound, putting my hands on my hips, stomping my feet (if I could) and fighting back my tears. 

I started giving myself time-outs by stepping away from the situations and trying to look for the bigger picture or for the lesson.  This would work if I could see the lesson or the bigger picture through the immediate angst, but often I could not (and cannot) see that until later on. 

Instead, I might just have to step away from anyone involved, so that I could be the “cry baby” as much as I needed to be without anyone feeling obligated to tell me just how “ok” everything was going to be.  If I was at the point where I was in need of a time-out, I definitely did not want to hear someone trying to convince me that I did not really need one.

Since the pump drama began in mid-2010, I have found myself in need of many more time-outs than I would like to admit.  Most of them have not been granted so far, although I have found my own little diversions to tide me over. 

I have shared some of those with you in previous blogs and will likely continue to share them because I continue to need new and different ones while I wait for the granting of my time-out. 

I have been through enough at this point in the kickball game of life that I trust it will all work out ok at some point, but that doesn’t change my need for a break to catch my breath.


Deflated Kickball. (Photo credit: Hidinhumiliation)

What about you?  Do you shout out for a time-out in your own life?  What do you do if one isn’t granted?   


Comments on: "Calling a Time-out!" (3)

  1. It has been a while since I needed a time out, but I remember the feeling all too well. When that despair would set in, I would do funny mind games like think if I threw away all my medications, I would get the time out – everything would be better. I would know I was getting really bad when my imagined time out involved driving into a tree so I didn’t have to work so hard at feeling better. Both very irrational but then chronic pain seems to destroy rational thinking after a while. I think my most effective attempts at finding a few minutes of time out were to use gentle music, relaxation, and visualization. Hang in there, Tawny.


    • Hi Pat,
      I got to thinking about this need for a time-out and how interesting it is that I forgot the nearly four year time-out I had prior to all of this surgery/pump drama nonsense. I agree that chronic pain does a number on rational thought and it sure makes it a challenge to reframe the irrational. Do you find your pain actually makes your breathing erratic (more shallow and rapid unless you are conscious of your breath)? Hugs and thank you!


      • Yes it does affect my breathing. I try not to focus on pain – I am really good at denial. But my breathing isn’t under my control and so it is my signal that pain is increasing. When the pain get really bad I have involuntary gasps, like I am trying to gulp in huge amounts of air. My breathing is also shallow and rapid. Pain does a number on our bodies. I admire your brain and attitude. You are a fighter.


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