Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Stroke Survival ~ The Pity Pot

Yep, I've been really hopping up and down on the pity pot for the past month with all that has been happening at home and abroad, and it's okay. I allow myself the time so long as it doesn't consume my life totally. Although I have to admit I've got an angry, red ring on my derriere from my long stint on it this time. I said all of these statements on the balloons over and over again over the past month.

Quite a few months ago, I told myself I wouldn't get on it again, but I was only fooling myself. Hey, I'm honest. I usually limit my time on the pot to fifteen minutes but this time I couldn't. Somethings are beyond my control. I have to go with it and ride the wave until it's over. Accepting things I can not change, but this is a hard lesson to learn. I'm fast approaching, the 25th, the one year anniversary of my stroke. What a year it's been too. There was no cop out of "look how far you've come" that would console me.

The truth is while I have achieved great progress, this is not where I wanted to be by now in my recovery. I'm terrified that this is all the recovery I can achieve and will be like this FOREVER. I'm afraid of failure. The stakes are too high for me that this may be my life forever more. There I said it.

 I expected more out of myself. Remember I'm the over-everything. I do not settle unless forced to and let me tell you, that's always a fight to the death. Recently, I've been reading anniversary blogs of other long term stroke survivors- five, ten, fifteen or twenty years post stroke. It truly boggles my mind. The courage it takes to be a survivor not just a year but YEARS! To not lose hope along the way and not give up.

Many of the words to the left have been used by others to describe me. Yes, they are all true to the persona I show to the outside world. Many have written me about being an inspiration or being a hero in their eyes.

 I'm not any of those things. Okay maybe, a fighter, outspoken, and intelligent, but the rest is conjecture. I fight to recover daily because there is a possibility. I've seen glimpses of what life can be, wouldn't you do the same? I don't want to admit that this is all there is. Given fifteen years there might be an inkling of acceptance. I'm stubborn.

I speak out because it's not in my nature to keep quiet anymore, even when it is in my best interests to do so. Would it be better to stuff my feelings and not give them a voice? I did that for a lot of years and it made me feel worse not better. It explodes in other ways such as drugs and alcohol...been there- done that- and don't want to go there again!

I shouldn't be a role model or hero to anyone. Everyone has it in them to do the same thing. It is their choice not to. Any excuse in a storm, right? And boy, are most people full of excuses. I taught myself and my children to take ownership of their faults and try not to repeat them. It's left some of their bosses with that opening and closing mouth like a fish in the fish bowl look when they take ownership of their mistakes because they are so used to hearing excuses. I don't make excuses I just tell it like it is in my perception.

I choose to live my life as an open book. Well, maybe not totally open, but as open as can be. Because self preservation beats out total honesty every time. In this age of identity theft, I'd be a fool to divulge everything on the net. But still if asked a question, I'll answer to the best of my hair-brained ability from my point of view.

So if I don't keep to my regularly scheduled blog time table, you know why. Real life is just getting in the way. But I'll get there.

Nothing is impossible with determination


  1. Hi Jo - in a lot of ways I don't blame you at all .. life can just be a nuisance .. but I also thankfully come from the side of we only have one life, and 24 hours in a day to live it .. and we might as well be positive about it ..

    Though I do not have your challenges - and admire you for coping ..

    Tuesday is our International Be Positive Day .. hope you can post accordingly .. cheers Hilary

  2. I don't speculate about courage. Because I live alone I have to stop crying so I can make dinner. Having worked in a nursing home also motivates me to work harder when I start to feel sorry for myself.

  3. You left a word off of you word map--Inspiring. I know, I know, you don't think so, but it's all true. Keep on keeping on...and get up off the pity pot, Jo. ; )

  4. Hilary, I'm back to my regular self now. :)

  5. Rebecca, I admire you hon. You are my role model. I used to work in nursing homes too. I meet people every day that take so many things for granted, but remember those who are worse off too.

  6. You might not think you're doing well, but every day that you improve is a battle won.


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