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writeleft 01-31-2012 09:36 AM

How have your strokes changed you for the better?
I was writing to one of group who was new to stroke recovery and I mentioned how many of us found our strokes to be positive events in our lives at some point in our recovery.

After mentioning that, I thought I would ask who that really applied to?

I think this could really be helpful to those who are in those tough early stages of I will start with mine and hope to hear from others who share this sentiment.


writeleft 01-31-2012 09:53 AM

Re: How have your strokes changed you for the better?
I started out as a pretty positive person before my strokes..which probably helped. But, there came a point in which I realized without doubt that my strokes were the reason for a great change in me, that I was really grateful for.

the first signs of it came when I found this place, and found others who I could really relate to, and even help by sharing my experiences. After loosing my ability to do the work I had devoted my entire life to, I really felt lost and invisible. Instead of being out in my community every single day, I was in my pajamas in my house, alone and confused. I couldn't see my way out.

When I realized that I still had something to offer, even right at home for compete strangers, I felt my heart begin to soar for the first time in several years. From there, I found other things I could do from my home, in my pajamas. I could write!

I changed my focus from outside the house to inside. That seemed to change my thinking from outside myself to inside myself, and that is where the big changes happened. I became much more centered and down to earth. I wrote letters to my family members, making another kind of connection that was much deeper and more real. The response was very positive, which made me feel good. I found myself much closer to my children, one who was across the country. To this day, I write, him a letter every single week without fail, which he has told me mean so much to him. He keeps them in a special box, every one of them. That warms my heart.

In a nutshell, my strokes changed me into a better person. Although I am quite different than the old me, I am a better me. I now feel I can face anything, as I overcame the most difficult thing a person could, and prevailed. Since then I have has some very very heartbreaking events in my life, and I have taken them on with confidence that i gained from my stroke experience. I feel I can face anything and get through it. That alone is the best thing I could ask for, as life will continue to challenge me. It is so nice to know that I will not crumble, I will not give in.

jerr8899 01-31-2012 09:45 PM

Re: How have your strokes changed you for the better?
Mine hasn't helped me. I feel like screaming after typing for a little while because I can't anymore very well. I get sick of reaching for my lighter in my pocket and coming out with my pocketknife. I hate not being able to put my belt on or being able to get my zippers started on my coats. I want to throw my guitar against a wall because simple chords are nigh on impossible to do.

In short, it was one of the worst things to ever happen to me.

Mulchie 02-01-2012 08:17 PM

Re: How have your strokes changed you for the better?
Oh Janet good quetion. How has my stroke changed me for the better. Well it did changed my life for the better. The first year of recovery was pretty difficult mentally and it took its toll on me. I was so afraid and hung up on my disabilities. I thought my life was over there was no way I was going to recover from it. The fear of having another one and the changes it made in my life caused my spirit to freeze.
Then one day I was sitting on the side of my bed crying and it occured to me that I could have died. But I didnt. Why was I saved from that? I started to imagine that I was saved for a reason to have a better life and I had a second change to make that happen. My old life was filled with stress. Things I worried about now I see as rediculous and so not important. I was so unhappy in my old life. I became determined to love the quiet. My surroundings became more of a tranquile enviorment and I surrounded myself with things I loved. I got up every day and promised myself I would find one good thing and elaborate on it. Oh I stilled cried and I still had my moments but suddenly part of my day was spent happy and being glad I was still here. A darlin friend gave me yoga steps to relaxation so the anxiety got easier to deal with. I stopped looking at what I couldnt do and started focusing on what I could do, wanted to do, new and great things that I have always wanted to do and never had the time. Since I was 10 years old I have wanted to write. Never had the time, well now I do. I have always wanted to improve my sketching and paint. Now I can. Im very fortunate to be able to persue those dreams.
Since then I have had many wonderful things happen in my life and I have the time to enjoy them as they should be. I am thankful to be given this second chance.
Yes I still have my feeling sorry for myself days but they are fewer and fewer. The most important thing that happened and was truly my saving grace was finding this stroke board. I found it just before my 1st anniversay of my stroke and I Thank God I did. Everyone here knew what I was talking about, how I felt. They cried with me and laughed with me. A Family, and I pulled so much strength from the love and care I found here. Yes my life is better because of the stroke. I was saved and given a second chance and Im not waisting one moment of it. Thanks for Asking
God Bless Mulchie

Positive Cynic 02-01-2012 10:09 PM

Re: How have your strokes changed you for the better?
It gets better, I know your concernes. You don't know how many typos I did to get this far. But I really know about your guitar. Because I played it all my life and I never wrote anything down. i swear i knew a hundred or so songs just be on my head. So when I had my stroke and all that music was gone. I was afriad to pick up my guitar. But I fianally did and I was surprised my fingrers went where they where supposed to do. I didn;t play any fancy chords, but I could play a c, f and g and a d and that was enoug to start again. Don't be frugstrated my buddy. It will come again.
God Bless.
tim :cool:

Positive Cynic 02-01-2012 10:18 PM

Re: How have your strokes changed you for the better?
Janet, I want to respond waht you said, but cvc took all my a brains for today God bless all you here,


jerr8899 02-02-2012 08:59 AM

Re: How have your strokes changed you for the better?
Rocksmith is the best therapy tool ever invented for people like us. It forces you to keep trying. I still can't do C or D right and my fingers get confused. I started taking lessons when I was 8 and I am 43 now. Used to be fairly good at it. Not any more.

Positive Cynic 02-02-2012 01:52 PM

Re: How have your strokes changed you for the better?
I totally understand that you have to learn how to play guitar again and the frustration that comes. All I can tell you is don't be upset. Believe it or not in time you will have those skills again. Do you know that the first thing a played again after my stroke was a Beatles song. And it came to my head.

Eleonor Rigby;

If you can play it is simple. - C and Em

When I could play it and sing it I cried.

Ahhh, Look at all the lonely people
Ahhh, Look at all the lonely people

Once you get that, the rest of the chords and words will follow.

That is just what music does when you are in tuned.
God Bless,

writeleft 02-02-2012 04:40 PM

Re: How have your strokes changed you for the better?
When I posed this question, I considered just leaving it at "how id your strokes change your life"...but I added the "for the better" for a reason.

As Mulchie pointed out so beautifully, we all have to go through some really tough times before we get to the point of acceptance, and hopefully to the realization of all the things that could be worse. For many of us, myself included those tough times lasted for several years, and the sense of despair was so deep.

I can clearly remember realizing that I could not was terrifying. How could I possible regain the ability to think from, where I was starting? All the rest was a mountain piled up on top of me that I could never climb from where I was.

This is for all of you struggling through that time of their stroke recovery that we all start with. Please look for the little things that are wonderful in your life. Realize the value of those little things as compared to the bothersome ones that are taking up your time and energy. Let go of all that is suddenly insignificant, and take a look at your family, your friends and all that is real and meaningful/

As Mulchie pointed out, we have all survived through an event that leaves many of us dead, and we do have a second chance to change things.

If you can trust in the fact that things do get better, way better...and begin early to find the simple pleasures, you will get to find that joy and peace so much earlier than if you get stuck in the bog of stress and worry.

Even if you have a tiny thing that is better after your strokes, please put it down here. I am hoping this can be an inspiration to other who are still looking.

Love to all..janet

Mulchie 02-02-2012 05:57 PM

Re: How have your strokes changed you for the better?
Do not live in this very moment and believe this is the way it will always be. It is this way now but it is not where you will be 6 months from now. You have to believe that and get it fixed in your heart.
God Bless Mulchie

Alberta1967 02-02-2012 07:39 PM

Re: How have your strokes changed you for the better?
Mulchie, I think you are me, but in another town. Everything you said was me 7 yeas ago. My daughter, Shyanne, was only 5 months old at the time.I didn't think I would live to see her grow up. But I am here & so is she. I Thank God everyday for allowing me to be here for her & my 3 boys. The stroke also gave me the courage to get out of a very bad marraige. When I woke up & he was the frist person I saw, I knew I didn't want to be maaried to him anymore. I started going to church & my life has only got better. I can talk to him now without wanting to hit him. We do have 2 children togather, So I do try & get along with him. Not easy but I do try. I think it has made me a better person. :angel: Alberta

writeleft 02-03-2012 12:12 AM

Re: How have your strokes changed you for the better?
I ran across two quotes today that I thought might be interesting ...

[B][I]"You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have".[/I][/B]


[B][I]"Learning is a gift, even when pain is your teacher."[/I][/B]

Thanks to everyone for their inspirational responses, and keep them coming!

Positive Cynic 02-03-2012 05:54 PM

Re: How have your strokes changed you for the better?
Well I guess it is my turn :)

I really believe that my stroke has made my life more complete. Of course at first you cannot believe the tragic thing of "you". And be sure it is very scary. When I got home from the hospital and got a newspaper and could understand it. I was scared. And all of the usual things around the house were foreign. I felt like I was in a different planet.

But the normal things come back slowly. And when you can get back into society a little. I just loved it and never had all of those little annoying things that I thought I was better or something. I never blow the horn when I am driving. When I am in a store, I will always let people go first if the have less than me. And there is a grocery that is very close I go to almost everyday. They have some people that are challenged that but in the bags. Before my stroke, they could be annoying and people that bother them. But now I love these guys so much and always talk to them with a smile and say God Love you.

What it has taught me is how arrogant I have been my whole life.
So that is how the stroke changed me to the better.

God Bless,
Tim :)

Mulchie 02-04-2012 06:50 PM

Re: How have your strokes changed you for the better?
Alberta you sound like a very curageous woman. To accomplish what you did in stroke recovery. To make a better life for yourself and children at a time when you are scared and trying to recover, that is remarkable. I take my hat of to you. There are many people on this board who find courage and strength they never knew they had. In turn it gives me hope and courage and strength. You have done remarkable things with your life. Through the grace of God and your courage. Way to go girl!!
God Bless Mulchie

Alberta1967 02-05-2012 11:39 AM

Re: How have your strokes changed you for the better?
Thank you, but I am just a mother who wants a better life for her kids. One where they do not dread the time. Everyday when it got closer to the time he was to come home, the kids got very nervous. And my daughter had eczema, but when we left she didn't have any more outbreaks, unless Sean & I got into a argument. Which I tried not to do when they were around us. But he had a way of rubbing me the wrong way, you know.

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