They are the happy occasions.
On the other hand are the not so pleasant changes. Those with a sudden onset, like accidents, or acquired illnesses.
The positive changes, even though we can prepare and plan for them, can create a fair amount of stress. Imagine the disarray we are thrown into if an unexpected change is forced upon us.
We just don’t like change. Usually it is not until something serious happens that we reluctantly deal with it, and only because we have to. Up till then we build our “nest”, our comfort zone. We all do, and we do not like to leave it. Because beyond the comfort zone is the panic zone. In fact, ca. 80% of people live their life within their comfort zone.
A stroke is one such unexpected change that throws us out off our comfort zone, and forces us to deal with a new situation. Of course we have to give up some material things. Actually, the more we give up, the better it is. Because it helps our rehabilitation. The most important step of rehabilitation is to leave the “old” life behind, and build a “new” one.
It starts some time during the hospital stay. Every stroke victim has to admit that a major disturbance has happened to his or her body. A disturbance that has a major effect on their life. In fact, their life will never be the same again. Some will spend the rest of their days con- nected to a respirator, others won’t ever be able to talk again, others won’t walk.
This is the time when we are confronted with a truth we don’t want
to accept. Most stroke victims find that accepting that something
is wrong is the most difficult part. For me – it slowly dawned on me that I had lost a lifestyle. I had to exchange my BMW for a wheel-chair, my comfortable pay packet for handouts.
Many live in denial for weeks, yes months. No matter how much we used our body, whether someone was athletic, or a couch potato, there is still a sense of loss, because one enjoyed a non-competitive walk along the beach, while the other equally enjoyed a walk to the fridge to get another beer.
If you’ve had a stroke, that’s too bad, but it is absolutely no reason to feel sorry for yourself. You can’t blame anyone else, and you can’t
say that everyone else is better off. Because they are not – at least not necessarily. They maybe are, physically. But emotionally?
Our emotional wellbeing is governed by the interaction with other people, that is caregivers, visitors, the postman, etc., any social contact we might have.
Isn’t it up to us to make this social interaction a positive experience? So, one could say: “The good thing about a stroke (at least, sort of) is that we are in control of building our “new” life, while already knowing what to avoid. This means we can become a better person, and make other people happy”.
Isn’t this what life is all about?
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