Stroke of Insight

Over 9 years ago, I wrote about having a stroke and what the first year and half, looked like it, afterwards – Why am I reblogging my own post??

Well – a woman younger than I, but around the same age as I was – when I had mine? Had a stroke a year ago – I’ve only talked to her twice since she had it – once after she ‘moved back home’ right after, and just again, this past week, in the local small-town grocery store –

I was flying by the seat of my pants – my mom was waiting in the car outside – needless to say – I had all the ‘vibrations’ of in a hurry – and no lingering around to ‘visit’ all about my physical being – but that gal, said, “I’m still struggling with my foot – see it?” (Yes, I noticed it the moment I saw her – that one foot is still rather turned inward and dragging along, meaning she stands and walks with a line that catches my eye…)

And then she said, “Can I ask you? How long before it gets better? How long did it take you??” – And sigh – I can tell her my story – but it most likely won’t be her story – not really – the brain is such a miraculous and funky thing – the various life experiences we each live through? Unique, in their own nuances, to each of us, and yet, also, experienced by all of us – sooner or later….

So I told her – ‘here’s what I had to do to walk with my right foot straight – I had to walk all while my brain was screaming at me that I was walking ‘wall-footed’ – I had to ignore my brain – Because if I walked in a way, my brain screamed at me ‘as wrong’ – I could look down, and see! my foot was pointed straight ahead – and I started paying better attention to when my knee, hip or back started hurting – after awhile? I didn’t even look down anymore – I just felt the higher up pain and started walking in way my own brain told me, was ‘messed up’ and after a year or so? No longer a problem and my brain adjusted to my new routine….

And then I told her, “keep a journal – or if you’re on social media? Write, share – the good days, the wins – the hard days – the days that feel like a set-back – cuz unless you notate it somewhere, somehow, that you can look back? You’ll forget your good days and step-by-step wins – and you’ll let the hard days, the set backs – overwhelm ya – –

Today? Good Day – had really yummy meal with my family, left my mom’s kitchen cleaned with quick warm meals for her – and was home by 3pm – Then I had the convos, the text shares, the phone calls, from many in ‘my sphere’ over – the stress of the holidays – what’s working/not working, why they are down, stressed or whatever – and me?? I said over and over, to many today –

“Okay – yup, that sucks, but what are ya gonna do? What resources to you have to deal with this? Who are the helpers in your life and who are those that hold ya back? Are ya gonna fight, for yourself, everyday, in big and small ways? Or are ya gonna just wait hoping Fate or someone shows up to ‘save ya’??

Yup, I’m that harsh with those I love – why? Cuz none of them are homeless, helpless or without resources of their own dreams, passions, will, resources – Because no amount of money can ever purchase their internal healing, in the heart – nor will wealth or a circle of friends ever save them from aging/dying someday –

And so, while I’ve struggled, me self, on many fronts – the past two years – today? I was reminded – ya know? we so often take ourselves off the field – or ask more of ourselves than in hopes that if we do – the Universe will somehow ‘give us a break’….

So easy to forget the wins, the good, the gains – step by step – UNLESS, we write it down, over and over – and sometimes? Flip through and re-read – check in on ourselves a year later – 5 years later, etc.

Robert Fulghum is right – there is this ‘something’ of each of us that is our saving grace or biggest foe – and well – no way to shove it into a spreadsheet – and society doesn’t value it the way it should be ‘valued’ for us, really – and yet – no matter how the numbers line up, or what the outside world chooses to ‘place a value’ upon us humans?

Our greatest value lies within our willingness to get up and try again – even if the deck seems stacked against us – or folks tell us we should be healed/over this by now? So very often – it feels like, to me?

Folks are getting destroyed from the outside in – instead of winning from the inside out –

Sigh – Just typing it out – cuz I’ve spent alot of time stressing over real/potential threats the past 2 years, even though, in the end?? None of that stuff has happened – at all – yet – And I got lost in the news, the things in need of being done to work toward better and yet, felt like not much changing in my life or for the lives of others – and so, tonight?

I thought about all the things I’ve reminded folks around me about their wins – when they seem to not remember them, or think it …what? egotistical?? To celebrate their ‘wins’ – or give someone else credit for THEIR wins??? (My mom made pumpkin pie, cornish game hens and delicious dinner rolls – but let the meal be over and her story?? “Well, you did it all – it was good! Thank you!) and I’m thinking….Um…NO!

You cooked part of the meal too – wore yourself out ‘cleaning’ your already clean house – etc…take some credit for yourself!

Then I walked through more correspondence of folks that the holidays just stress them out – and I ask questions – cuz to me? Last you told me about this saga, you were doing this, this and that – and now? Okay – so….you prepared for day – did what you signed up for – and now – what were the ‘wins’ of the day? Any?? IF you can’t see a single win?? at all?

Well – ya got your answer – give up or choose to not do this ever again – or write it down – “I cooked the whole meal and everyone had seconds – but I had to listen to everything I did being criticized during the meal…” or whatever – sigh –

And I’m reminded my role here on earth – part of my job?

Is to remind folks of their ‘wins’ or point them out – when they can’t see them – and well – um, yup, guess the universe reminded me – so I could remind others – 😀

Ahh – Thanks Universe! I NEEDED that kick in the pants!!! 😀

The Good, Bad and Ludicrous

In October of 2011, I had a stroke – thankfully, for me, I had read Jill Bolte Taylor’s book, “Stroke of Insight”, years before.   I encourage everyone to read Stroke of Insight. Though it landed in my hands from a friend who liked the positive spiritual message contained within the pages, it turned out to be a wonderful ‘how to recover from a stroke’ guide for me.

I’ve also recommended it to those whose loved one has had a stroke – there is so much caregivers can do to aide in the recovery.

In short, if you get a chance, Read It!


The day of my stroke, I awoke not feeling well.   I had started a new waitress job and was rather frazzled at the intensity of some of the days when I worked the place by myself.   I kept thinking, “I’m not up for this”, but continued…

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3 thoughts on “Stroke of Insight”

  1. I read the original too – highly fascinating!! I think it’s so important to share experiences like yours. It helps bring about awareness to all of us – especially those of us who have strokes as part of our family history. I admire you for your grit and determination. It’s also a wonderful thing to find gratitude in every situation, rather than focusing on the negative.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading both! While there have been many moments in my life I see as ‘defining moments of me’ – this one is one of the big six that hit me within a 3 1/2 year time span. and…..LOL! ‘grit and determination’ – ???

      Call it low-key (because I had been warned by all healthcare providers -allopathic and holistic both, that I must not get angry or stressed, at all, in face of none of the ‘usual 4’ suspects of stroke, were not present, in my case – via tests, and another within 6 months would ‘kill me/finish me off’ – – um, to me??

      My low-key, burning anger at Fate, at the failure of the insurance system, of the failure of the social safety net systems that I had spent the past 28 years of my life paying into, but were not available to me?? When I could barely get through fixing mac & cheese from the box, without burning/ruining something??

      Yeah – I was mad and, though many call it my ‘pessimism/negativity’? I consider my anger at many things, and my will of “fine – don’t help – but YOU aren’t going to destroy me! I refuse to give you the satisfaction….”

      😀 To me? If help is needed and those in a position to help/promised to help, but who refuse to, when the time comes??

      Okay, says I, but guess what? I will find a way to get through this, and since you wouldn’t help? You won’t get any credit at all, when I ‘win this challenge’ AND, should you be particularly nasty in your declining to help?

      Oh, rest assured, I will make sure to tell that part of the story, too, whenever I am asked… 😀

      Thus, though everything and everyone around me was singing the chorus of ‘no anger, no negativity’ –

      To me? That part of me was my saving grace – 🙂


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