It’s a tough call. Do we see ourselves as people recovering, or people rebuilding, or do we see ourselves with an injury that will be present for the rest of our life? I was a shoulder tonight for gentleman who was working hard for his future but didn’t feel as if the past recognised his progress. Everything is subjective, I know, but I talked to him at length. It was only at one point that I mentioned that three years ago, I had had a stroke. It was 8 pm that he came to my door, crying, a bit intoxicated and obviously wounded by his circumstance. I was in my dressing gown. He, in his work clothes, painter and decorator. I was generally feeling how I do most evenings, like a bat looking for an exit. He was about six foot four, I am five nine. He had a big beard and a hoodie. My partner asked if I could take care of the situation because he was stumbling and crying. Of course I can. He is a man who is upset, and I am a man who has had chunks of my brain fried. Of course, I can look after this.
We sat and talked. I lit a fire for him. He offered me a small brandy. He was a year younger than me. My troubles were not his troubles and his troubles were not my troubles. But somehow I secretly wished I could trade places. I wondered if I were less capable than him, he was obviously “strong as an ox” as he kept telling me this. But here I was, in my dressing gown, with my dog, and my shattered brain, comforting him.
So, this led me to think. Am I recovering from stroke, rebuilding my life after stroke, living with stroke, or am I just a human with a damaged brain making the best out of a bad situation. I don’t know if I have expectations because I now know how complex our grey matter is, I won’t accept it is finite but I know it is not infinite.
I’m not going to quote someone else or suggest a hard won answer that I have crafted out of a language that can be full of double and hidden meanings.
I know human beings such as we are conceited and like to imagine we have vast knowledge, great powers and unlimited ability to see into the future.
I say go pick a fight with a volcano, argue with a tsunami, move the moon over a little bit, to measure your greatness, your significance and maybe find your place.
No matter who we are, what our circumstance, we can offer friendship, that listening ear we always talk about, sharing what we have as we move together into the unknown. Despite what any might tell you the future is not an absolute and predefined, we do get to shape the way things happen. We make choices, we must accept consequences. You’re not responsible for anything other than the direction you choose and its consequences.
You can be a valuable companion. You can set an example or follow the lead of another but I feel it is important to realise what you are doing as this takes place. You are building your world with the materials you have available.
Answers tend to come along when you have made a move. Trying to find answers without acting keeps one fixed and inert but this might be how it should be, who am I to say?
The present is a jumping off point, where you are headed is all down to which way you move.
All this is so much verbiage, words don’t need to define you or your life.
Morning @Rups. My feeling is I am making the best of a situation- not necessarily a bad one, but certainly a very different one, which is rubbish at times, by making choices, the best I am able on any given day.
Applying labels risks entrapment. To be able to constantly choose a good route grants freedom about where our future lies. It is our choice, and our future, it is up to us.
These choices can be as small as “shall I get up today”.
Thank you for your heart warming tale. You have a big and kind heart, which is worth a great deal, and is not lessened by any brain injury, or maybe enhanced? Julia x
Strange coincidence that I have just written a post that reflects some of your thinking above.
And The thought continues on but I haven’t quoted it all - But I noted that we don’t talk about recovering from having children or getting married We take it as an event from which life continues with a new combination of elements
There is at least a book in most of our answers
Perhaps the only short answer is everybody’s perception is different.
A quote that’s stuck with me is that " in the end all you can bring is your attitude". I am definitely of the view that shiit happened, it changed the path I’m on - it isn’t a detour - not everything is different some things are lost but the attitude should be/ is better if - it is “what is gained¿” - there used to be a fantastic post by chol dog -sadly now deleted and you and @Mahoney Have written good posts around these things before.
I’ve never been one who dwells in the past. I am a here for you volunteer and I have been struck by the difference in stories I hear from the people I listen to / talk to. There was previously a gentleman nearing 100 who was quite reconciled to having had a stroke the fact that he only had a few years left that he had a of good life, he seemed to me at peace. I’ve had others who seem to look back with bitterness. That seem to be hanging on to a source of poisoning their future .
I guess where I’m following my thoughts too is it is up to the individual how they see their stroke event colouring the rest of the years that they have on this earth. My own thoughts are that it happened, I’m not recovering, I’m not ill, I am simply living with a new set of capabilities to those that I had before, working on gaining some I used to have for convenience with things like eating and I’m putting my energies into activities I wouldn’t have had but for having a stroke
@Rups thats a good question. I don’t know how I see myself other than as someone who is trying her best to live as best i can in the circumstances I find myself in. I was chatting with my hubby at the weekend & I was saying I will never lose hope that I can improve more but I am also at yhe point where I have to make the best of the limitations I have & live life accepting things are different.
It’s great that you were able to provide support to a guy when he needed it. You have a kind heart.
There couldn’t be truer words that those you just spoke:
"I know human beings such as we are conceited and like to imagine we have vast knowledge, great powers and unlimited ability to see into the future. I say go pick a fight with a volcano, argue with a tsunami, move the moon over a little bit, to measure your greatness, your significance and maybe find your place."
Right now, I’m on the high seas (cruise). I feel smaller than an atom. I’m nothing out here. In everyday life, some people think they “know it all”. Get out in nature some time, and you’ll see you don’t know much of anything.
Noswiath dda @Bobbi, well I had to tap out with the volcano, the tsunami’s argument was pretty watertight, but I least got the moon to shift a little, but maybe it was the nystagmus I have.
Diolch @JuliaH, big heart or foolhardy. I would never have gone off to reassure a stranger before stroke. I’m not one for labels myself and wonder why I had to tell him, perhaps I was trying to say that we can have detrimental times in our lives but that isn’t the be all and end all of it.
No, you are human! That’s why he came to you to cry on your shoulder. Just because you’ve had a stroke doesn’t mean you can’t be there for others in their time of need. That’s why the gentleman came to you and it’s an honour that he put his trust in you. Right now, he’s probably more broken than you are.
And I put my trust in him. I went to his place in my dressing gown, just with my dog. I do think, however, that when one has looked mortality in the face and pressed on, that it emboldens the spirit somewhat
Dear rups you did a lovely thing supporting that chap and I have a feeling that your stroke journey contributed immensely to how you spoke to him. I’m a great believer in only looking to the future as none of us can change the past. Like many others I’m trying to overcome the negatives of my stroke and concentrate on the positives. I don’t want my stroke to define me even though it’s a part of me. I just realise I’m luckier than many others. A friend of mine is battling ovarian cancer, another ,Parkinson’s and another facing end of life with chronic lymphatic leukaemia so I rate myself as lucky in comparison even though I have down days. The real rups is still there, slightly altered but there. Love and best wishes for a merry Xmas love Suzywong xx