Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sunday Stroke Survival: Keeping Hope Alive

Today, on the anniversary of the day the twin towers fell in New York, I ponder just how to keep hope alive. Not only alive, but thriving towards post stroke recovery. It is really difficult when faced with years post stroke to keep even the smallest faith that recovery is even possible.

As time passes, hope can be lost in the shuffle of day to day living. This is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it helps you cope with the day to day struggle and frustration that recovery hasn't happened yet. A curse because it not striving for recovery but adapting to the change. It's not an all encompassing and consuming thought.When thoughts become a back burner things, you no longer have a driving will to push for it. But honestly, having that force is exhausting which is why as time passes it dissipates. No one can survive the do or die drive for an indefinite period of time.

We, as survivors, make concessions. We adapt our thinking and goals for survival's sake. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think, "when I get my arm, hand, or leg back." But it's not a thought in the minute by minute passage of time through the day as it was during the first few months after my strokes.

So How Do You Keep Hope Alive?
Focus on the small stuff. What can you do now compared to just after your stroke. I do this quite often here. 
Remind yourself often of your accomplishments. I also do that here on this blog. 
Tell yourself often, "It could be worse. You could have another stroke." Wait. I did that. It reset all my progress back to square 1.
Where there's a will there's a way. You don't fail to hope UNLESS you give up. 
Be angry at the powers that be for not doing better for us. How's that working for you Dean?
Get off your duff and do something...anything! Enough said.
When all else fails PRAY. Isn't that when we usually pray? When there is nothing left for us to do? We always want control of the uncontrollable.


So how do you keep hope alive when the waiting has taken years and you see no meaningful, miraculous results? 


Nothing is impossible.

5 comments:

Zan Marie said...

Bless you! I may not be a stroke survivor, but I have chronic illnesses, one of which is worsening, and I have to keep hope alive too. {{{{hugs}}}} for the journey, Jo!

oc1dean said...

Yes Jo, my hope is not working very well, but when you're right you just have to keep on at it. The rest of my life is perfectly happy, even though I don't specifically work on any rehab any more, life is challenging enough and my happiness is more important than my recovery.

JoAnn Murphey said...

Zan Marie- Yes you do

I know Dean.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Small stuff is like small steps - every one counts.

Barb Polan said...

I guess I fit in here: "Be angry at the powers that be for not doing better for us."

The power-that-is that I'm pissed off at is God. Yes, I know that parents who pray for protection for their kids or healing for family members often get a resounding NO as an answer to their prayers. The NO I got was far less painful than theirs.

I manage to keep hope alive despite my disappointment in the powers-that-be. My guess is that it's my stubborn determination that I WILL use this hand again one day. I will, I will, and I know it.

I have someone else to blame, too: whoever it was who prayed for patience for me. That prayer was answered YES - as proved by how sweetly I'm enduring this exile from my physical life.