I have received some fantastic, warm comments in this blog which, in their own way have helped to speed up my recovery. I have decided that I would take one of these comments (by Nicole Evans) and discuss with readers some of the issues raised.
First of all, thank you Nicole for the wonderfully supportive comments that you have made. As my main purpose in writing the book, the blog and undertaking speaking engagements is to share with others the fact that there is still a great life to be had after a serious illness. The fact that you felt that I am “such an inspiration and so generous!” makes me realise that what I have to say can be of assistance.
Thank you Nicole for this comment: “I love coming (to your Blog) and reading about you, your business accomplishments and, most of all, the tips you share to make a better life.” It is great to know that folk are coming to the Blog over and over again and are gaining something positive from the tips that I provide.
These tips are based on what I found to be so helpful to my recovery. It must be hard for anyone who does not find it easy to be positive and are wasting so much of their precious time on being angry about the trauma they are experiencing. All I can say to these folk, is to try to be positive – every time a negative thought come to your head, mentally push it away and replace it with something that is wonderful (even if it is just a great memory that you have). Do this often enough and eventually you will begin to feel differently.
When my father committed suicide I was really distraught. Every time I thought of him, I broke down. But I had to be strong to look after my semi invalid mother (who, of course, was also in shock) – I was also a single parent with two young children and had to hold down a job as well as look after the family. So I made a decision that every time I thought of my father I would push him from my mind and think of something completely different. Over the next year I was able to cope using this method and then, gradually, I was able to remember the good times that my dad and I shared, without concentrating on the horror that we all had to face and live with.
“I find, that what you share, not only benefits people who face severe illness as you did, but also to those of us who live with depression, anxiety and other non life threatening conditions.” Your comment here captures what I have been striving for. All illness is serious to those suffering it, even if it is not life threatening. All have to learn to cope with their illness and if they can be positive and concentrate on finding a path to happiness and fulfilment.
For me, being able to run my three businesses (though somewhat slower and in slightly different ways) was great therapy. Writing a book, building websites, completing painting orders from my online catalogue (and now, working on paintings for an exhibition) all went a long way in ensuring not only my recovery, but my happiness and sense of fulfilment.
How true you next comment is: “All too often, it is the self esteem that takes the biggest knock and to read that you managed to not only give to people so freely but also run a business after your stroke is the biggest inspiration I could think of.” Yes, we all suffer from loss of self esteem. Our confidence is shot and we have to recognise and accept that this is happening to us. But then we have to push the boundaries and build that confidence back up. Again, by being able to complete the challenges I set myself gradually did build my confidence and made me more able to accept the disabilities I had been left with.
It is very important that we realise just how wonderful our caregivers are. They tend to be forgotten as everyone concentrates on what we (the ill ones) are personally going through. But it is often the strength and love of our caregivers that can make our journey to recovery that much more successful. When recovering from illness, support from your caregivers is everything!
If by sharing my story and letting readers know how I coped with my challenges, inspires them to tackle their own problems in a slightly different way, then I have truly accomplished what I set out to do.
Hints and Tips
Accept all the care and love that is shown to you as a positive pathway to your recovery. Set yourself one or more huge challenges and concentrate on meeting them; you will feel so much more confident and in control of your life if you do this.