Hi I’m Justin,I had a stroke just over two years ago during COVID.physicslly I’m doing well,a bit slower than before and my left shoulder has about 50 percent movement.I had help with getting better physically but I’ve never had any help phycologically.Due to my anger and fear(and losing all my confidence)I’ve become estranged from my wife and children.I am looking to find out what help is out there for me because I’m falling apart,I blame myself for everything and feel I will now die alone as I can’t see how anyone would want to lumbered with what’s left of me.Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Welcome to the forum! I’m sure a lot of people here (including myself) will recognise what you are going through. I am also alone and had my second stroke shortly after moving to a new town where I don’t really know anyone. Now I’m physically able to do a little more I’ve recently joined a walking group of stroke survivors which is helping me to make contact. As I get stronger I plan to join other groups as well… It’s daunting but I hope it will help me connect. @Bobbi also runs a zoom call @ZoomOpenGroup 3 times a week which is a great place to share your thoughts with other survivors…
Hope you feel better soon
Thank you for your reply.Im glad to hear your finding things that help,I’ll have a look at the zoom group but I really find it hard to speak to people,my speech is fine untill I get into stressful situations like speaking to new people.im far better and more confident one to one or in texts.Your walking group sounds good,maybe I can find something like that near me.Again thank you for your reply as I feel so alone and someone taking the time to reply has made me cry but not feel quite as alone.I really hope your recovery is as quick and complete as is possible
Hi @Justin and welcome to the forum.
I’m sorry to hear that you are in such a state and it has taken 2 years for you to find us. I hope you will find help here from others that understand some of what you are going through.
I’ll give you my experience that could be relevant to your current predicament. A couple of months after my stroke I started having terrible anxiety, panic attacks, total loss of confidence and felt it would be better for my family if I hadn’t survived. The main thing that maybe different from your situation is that I openly asked everyone for help.
Physically I was very driven to push myself to improve, and really pushed on with my physio program but mentally it started unraveling.
I was very open with the stroke nurse, OT, my GP and my family. I was so lucky that my wife was really supportive. The stroke nurse recommended that I try a low dose of antidepressants, which pre stroke I would never have considered but now was desperate for any possible help. My GP was fantastic and also very supportive (I think my honesty & desperation touched a nerve). Initially, the antidepressants actually made things worse, anxiety increased and I got really desperate, but my GP arranged calls every 2 weeks to discuss how I was.
I’m pleased to say that I am in a very good place mentally now and do not have any negative effects from the low dose antidepressants so I’m in no hurry to come off them.
Trust me when I say that the pre stroke me would have been disgusted that I’m taking them but, as you know, pre stroke & post stroke are very different people.
I’m not telling you to go down the same route as me but if your attitude to antidepressants is the same as mine was, and you are in a desperate place with all other options exhausted, then it might be worth trying.
I hope you find a way forward.
I’m Bobbi and a stroke survivor like yourself. I understand how first meetings can be a bit of a strain.
If you want to try a one to one Zoom session I could set that up for you. I don’t bite and you only need to take things at your own pace.
I will be a little busy for a couple of days but I might be able to sort something out for Tuesday.
I’ll message you to confirm a little closer to the time.
Let me know how you feel about this.
thank you Bobbi that would be great if you could im not good at tech but im sure i could work it out.ill keep my notifications on
thank you for reaching out.I have never been one to ask for help,i was brought up to man up and get on with it so never thought i could, but now i cant see any way out and realise i need to ask for help.i changed my gp last week and hes trying to sort councelling for me as my previous gp didnt seem to see a problem as i was doing so well physically.As for anti depressants i do feel the same as you did but now wouldnt rule them out completely,but i would like to try the councelling first.Im overwhelmed by the the responses on here i feel more seen this morning than since i had the stroke,so from the bottom of my heart i thank you
I’ve messaged you, if you could reply I’ll try t sort it out
Thank you Bobbi ,good luck tomorrow and I’ll see you on the zoom group
The next meeting will be Friday at 7.00pm
I think that went well, and thanks.
Yeah I really needed to feel seen and I do,so thank you
No problem, it was good to meet up.
Yeah ,was very nice meeting you
@Justin welcome to the group. Sorry you’re finding things difficult at the moment. It sounds like you’ve made some good first steps to getting help though. Hopefully your counselling will be available soon & if you feel able the zoom group Bobbi runs are great. The Stroke Association also have a here for you service…it’s a 1 to 1 phone call for 8 weeks from someone who has been through very similar to you. Have a look at this link if it interests you.
This forum is also a great place to reach out, share your experiences & ask for advice or support.
Hi Justin @Justin I wanted to welcome you to the forum. The others have given you some great tips, hopefully you’ll not feel so alone now you’ve found us.
Like Mark @Ingo66 I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks following the stroke, counselling was my life saver, as well as the wonderful people on this forum. I’m pleased to hear your new GP is referring you for counselling
Wishing you all the very best
@Justin hi Justin, just wanted to welcome you and sorry you are feeling like this.
We are a merry bunch of SS with hands on experience. I echo most which has already been said so I won’t repeat.
Keep talking on wards and upwards hugs Loraine
Hi Justin, so sorry to hear that you are struggling but just wanted to say welcome to this forum. We are a merry band of stroke survivors who have suffered many different types of strokes and whose recoveries are also very different.
As time goes by we have all had our up and downs and have needed a bit of help along the way. I’m 6 years post stroke following a hemorrhagic stroke which paralysed my left side. One of the things I have found particularly useful over the past 6 years is a Stroke Survivors support group which was local to us. It was attended by people of all ages from 19 - 70, some came along alone or with carers/partners. Both my husband and I found the weekly meetings to be
very helpful and informative. Unfortunately the group closed due to Covid 19 and never reopened.
I had counseling a couple of years ago after contacting MIND, which I found very helpful at the time.
I personally haven’t attended one of the zoom calls but they sound very useful and I 'm sure are particularly helpful if you live alone
You have definitely made the right decision to seek help and hopefully your new gp will be able to assist you along the way.
Please feel free to ask questions or have a rant if you feel the need, there are lots of contributors on here who are always ready to lend an ear and offer advice and information.
Hope you are feeling better soon
Hi Justin and welcome to the forum and to a whole new beginning
You’ve taken that first great leap of faith in yourself and now you are ready to live again!
Just reading through this whole post had me filling up
But doesn’t it feel so good to be taking a hold of your life again? Keep it going, you will get there! There is light at the end of this tunnel and you don’t need die alone.
Take your lovely family on this journey with you, they need you as much as you need them.
Help them to understand you by showing them what you are doing to fix yourself, by letting them be a part of your healing, be a team!
Kids want their dads any way they can get them, they see differently to adults/parents. They just accept…imperfections and all, they don’t judge, they don’t want to lose their dad any more than their mum!
There is a whole load of Support Groups in this link you might also find useful. Some are online and others are in person groups.
Also don’t just look at stroke survivor walking groups. I’m with an over 50’s walking group and the quieter one of the group, a bit introvert but they’re comfortable with that…and I’m not the only one! I also have aphasia after my stroke so speech is somewhat iffy depending on time of day.
The thing is, not to allow yourself to hold you back anymore, because you are missing out on so much life yet to be lived. Keep up the momentum, lighten up on yourself and laugh more often.
And keep calling in here, we’ll all love to hear of your progress. If you need advice or just to chat, need a good rant to get things off your chest, it’s all good therapy to come here.
emphasised textHi, Justin.
I also suffered with depression feeling like a burden to my family, who would be better off without me. Thankfully, I am finally past that with the help of medication, low dose, and the people here to talk with. They have renewed my hopes when I had lost them. I am on the right track again, seeing some progress again and understanding now that it is slower this far out, but little increments count just as much. I hope you will come to a zoom meeting as well, for my own sake. I really enjoy the feeling like a person again, rather than left behind and forgotten while others were getting on with their lives. I wrongly thought that, but these lovely souls have opened my eyes to show me I can still be of use in this world and accomplish things…maybe not all the things I had planned, but it isn’t as if I was accomplishing them any better before, outside of working all the time. Plans change. Now I have time for more important things, like loving my daughters and grandson, gardening for food to share with neighbors, teaching my daughters how to run a household, do repairs, etc… and giving hugs to everyone I see.
Welcome to the group
sorry that you’ve had to join but now you here you’ll find lots of support - as in the texts above and there’s lots of other posts if you search the history that are full of nuggets .
Somebody has recommended the Hear for You service run by the stroke association - Which I’d second - I’m one of the volunteers who helps the service. If you ring the the helpline and ask them about it then Emma or Lisa or somebody will ring you back and find out what your interests & needs are and pair you with a survivor who has similar challenges and interests. It only runs for 8 weekly calls but it’s one to one and focused entirely on just what you want to talk about
Together with a survivor called Louise the two of us run a weekly SA zoom cafe on Launch Meeting - Zoom - Louise will do this Thursdays at 10:30 BST and I’ll do next Thursdays at 1300 and then Louise does the following Thursday etc. There’s at least two regulars who just listen, you will be welcome too if u want to join. Just click the link above at the time.
there’s also a carers cafe that my wife does everyother Thursday afternoon @ 1:30pm same weeks as Louise does the morning cafe.
Emotional challenges are a common stroke after effect but it doesn’t make them any easier. Meds, talking and sharing are all ways to cope. Use what ever support is in reach