Sunday, August 12, 2018

Sunday Stroke Survival: The Pity Pot

Are you on the self-pity pot again?! I'm on again and off again these days. It seems that nothing is going my way again. I kick myself from time to time about my first stroke. Especially when I read statistics like 80% of all ischemic strokes are preventable.

Did I really do this to myself? Why did I play Russian Roulette with my way of life? Didn't I know that my combined family history was slap full with other relatives with this catastrophic condition? Didn't I know the risk factors like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking? Yes, I sure did. So why am I kicking myself six years later? I asked for it, didn't I? I sure wasn't living the 20%.

Hindsight is 20/20. I can really do a number on myself when I get in this kind of mood. So why am I sitting on the pity pot. I got what I deserved, didn't I? But even people who don't have these risk factors have strokes. There is only so much medicine can do after the fact and every day that passes the odds of recovery slips a little farther away.

Normally, I can get outside and do something, but it's really rainy and wet right now. Too wet to do anything even in the breaks between hard showers. We are going on the third day of rain here which makes matters worse. I've already completed 99% of the busy work that needs done so my brain slips into the doldrums. I used to write away on rainy days. That ability is gone. That's my problem, a too active brain. Without activities to keep me occupied, my thoughts turn inward. My favorite/most hated boredom pastime is kicking myself when I'm down. Nobody does it better than I can. Isn't that true for most of us? Living post stroke is so much fun, isn't it? Everyone needs extra challenges in their lives. Let's have some real fun and have a stroke, or two, or if you are a real overachiever like me...three.

Depressed yet? Me too.

Snap out of it, Jo! Your readers want solutions, up beat blogs, and inspiration.

Okay, what can I say here. Hm, zero, zip, zilch is coming to me. I'm thinking harder. The rain is good for the garden. It has rained in a week, and you did say it needed to rain instead of having to water it all. No? Hmm, thinking harder. You could talk about how much your back ached picking 10 lbs of bush green beans this week and how you should have planted them in an elevated raised bed to make it easier. No, readers are tired of reading about the garden. Hmmm, thinking of another subject. How delicious your Cherokee tomatoes were that you sliced for dinner the other night. No, that's more gardening stuff. Something about surviving and living post stroke.

Nope. Nothing comes to mind. Well, I tried. Sorry y'all. The weather report shows these showers moving off tomorrow. Thank God! Nothing like getting out into sunshine to get off the pity pot for me. In the mean time, I'm going to get up and do the 1% I haven''t done yet... put clean sheets on my bed, and put on some music and dance with the vacuum cleaner a bit. If nothing else, I'll start tomorrow with a clean slate.

Nothing is impossible.


  1. Even in the darkest times, God is still with you and still loves you.

    1. I know this truth Alex. He never leaves me. But still life can be so overwhelming at times.

  2. If you told me that today was the last day I would feel the sun on my face I would say "Just shoot me." Hopefully the bad weather will let up.

  3. Please, Jo, don't make the mistake of "blaming the victim," especially about yourself.

    I too wonder what my life would be like had I not taking up rowing when I did; not started a race in sixth place, but finishing in third; not rowed my heart out (although it was my brain I ended up taking out). On the other hand, rowing is one of my many joys in life; every club makes errors during the races they organize; and I would not be me if I hadn't rowed my heart out. So, the way I look at it, the stroke was inevitable given my life, so I'm not really "to blame."

    Blaming the victim ("Blaming the Victim," by William Ryan first described this behavior) is one of the ways we look at others and hold them responsible for their bad situations - good examples are when a smoker develops lung cancer or a woman going home with a strange man gets raped. We feel better about ourselves because we don't do such stupid things.

    Ryan used the concept to explain economic disparities by race. But we also can use it against ourselves.


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