Her stroke was 2 months ago. She cannot speak well. She has aphasia. She has some paralysis.
I met her at a stroke support group. I have often said that “Stroke survivors are an exclusive club that no one ever wants to join.”
Like it or not, she has joined our club.
Her emotions are incredibly raw. At our group, all of our survivors tried to say “it will get better.” And it will.
Nevertheless, we said it is OK to be pissed off and angry. “People” (in other words, non-stroke individuals) say things like “It’s God’s plan” or “This is your new reality.” The one that I detest the most is "my new normal."
Really? Most survivors – if they can talk at all – respond to be polite: “Well, excuse me! That advice really helps! Thank you! I never thought about that.”
Inside our broken brains, we are saying “bullshit.” You have NO idea what we go through every single day.
New survivors are always told “you are a survivor not a victim.” We cannot feel sorry for ourselves for too long. Our victimhood will only last for a moment.
Then, the recovery mode kicks us in the ass.
"People" say things like "Your stroke should not define life." Again, that sentiment is great until you live it. Again, "bullshit."
Also yesterday, I found out that another stroke survivor is now divorced and living with his mother. He is 60 years old. His wife of 40 years could not handle “God’s plan.”
The new survivor implied she cannot deal with this situation. Through her tears, unable to communicate, she hinted “I would rather die.”
I get it. I felt it.
All of us get it.
We tried to comfort her and her husband. For example, she is recovering pretty well for her new 2 month truth. At two month after my strokes, I could not attend a stroke support group. All of us told them “it will get better.
Nevertheless, it is bitter pill to swallow. You can overdose and die, or just keep trying and trying.
Survivor or victim. Depends on the day.