Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sunday Stroke Survival: Feeling Guilty?

Have you been feeling guilty as you are living post stroke? Have you not performed your rehab exercises, or even quit doing them? Have you changed your goals to take it easier on yourself? Have you lost all hope of ever recovering and just getting by and settling?? Insert anything you are feeling guilty about here?

My first question to you is why are you beating yourself up? You are being your own worse enemy.

My statement follows this is why beat yourself up when I can be the bully here. Pretty please, let me be the bully. I know you can't see me but I'm wearing my wicked, evil grin. MUHAHAHA!Although being wicked would be more fun for me. Why won't anyone let me mean and wicked? Oh, alright. Be that way. I'll just throw facts and logical arguments at you then. 

 Only you can make you a failure and fail. Only you can give up and quit trying. Everyone around you won't care about it as much or have as much to lose as you do if you quit trying.  Everyone around you will either take the view of a) this her standard m.o., or b) "Poor thing she gave it her/his best. Such a shame too. She/He had such potential before this happened."
  1. Nobody will kick themselves harder than you. As I said, YOU are your own worse enemy.
  2. You can't buy or bargain your way out of feeling guilty. No matter what bargain you make or how much you buy won't stop the guilty feelings.
  3. You can't change others if they don't want to change. By the same token, only you can change you.
All that being said, how do you stop feeling guilty?

  1. First you analyze why you feel guilty.
  2. Be bluntly honest with yourself.
  3. Fix it! Then stop the guilt trip.
Have you lost all hope of recovering? Are you tired of of doing the same thing and seeing no results, or like me, losing ground and sliding backwards with no brake pedal in sight? I'm writing this as much for you as much as for me so you can see how I hash these thoughts out. 

I've been working towards recovery for almost seven years now. I've actually backslid to the point where my balance is so bad I'm thinking of getting a quad cane.I'm falling or almost falling at least once a week if not daily. I've lost the range of motion in my affected arm and shoulder after recovering all but my wrist and three fingers. The last year of searching for alternative treatments are unresolved and I'm taking even more medication than ever before. My proactive side has taken quite a beating. It has been whittled down to nothing.

Why not stop and give up? Admit defeat. Haven't I given it my all with nothing to show for it? Aren't I justified in feeling like this? What do I have to feel guilty about? But, I do. See, I'm not any different than you.

BUT  There's that word again!

Doubt is a two sided coin as is guilt. You can go around and around between the two sides. That's the neat thing about changes you want to make in your life. You can always change your mind and try the other side. Barb Polan recently felt like a quitter and thought she was settling instead of her being her proactive self. It took others, stroke survivors, to show her she was neither. If there's one thing I've learned over the half century alive is that life changes constantly. Often, it's in the blink of an eye. You either roll with the punches, or they'll flatten you as they steam roll over you. YOU make the choice.

I guess I got my answer. How about you?

Nothing is impossible.


  1. Jo, this is applicable to more than just stroke survival. Much more! Doubt can be more crippling than any physical challenge.

    1. Leigh,
      Yes, it is. Most posts I say insert whatever your dealing with. I didn't this time though, my bad. :o)


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