Posted in Recovery Intel

Defining-Moments

Though these words of mine were written pre-stroke, yet the message resonates even more deeply today.
An almost eerie foreshadow of needed defining moments in the positives.

Defining-Moments-4-1
There are moments in our life that make us and set the course of who we’re going to be.
Sometimes they’re little subtle moments. Sometimes they are big moments we never saw coming.
Not everyone asks for their life to change, but it does.
It’s what we do afterwards that counts. That’s when we find out who we really are.

Be Brave

Laugh out loud, even when you feel too sick or exhausted.
Trust, even when your heart is screaming NO and you think it could break you.
Sing, even if others take on that smug smile like their singing doesn’t sound like crap.
Dance, even if you can’t keep time and you suddenly grow two left feet.
Smile, even if you really feel like crying. Tears only blur your vision.
Frolic & meander, even when you are made fun of.
Kiss your lover while others are about and may be staring.
Sleep, even when you’re afraid of what your dreams have been bringing.
Run, even when it feels like you cannot possibly lift a another foot and run an inch.
Never forget a moment, even when the memories tug at our heart string’s and leave a hole. Because of all the pain & joy we experience we become the deep feeling kind of person we are meant to be.
Without our experiences we are void of our emotions, a vital missing link.
What makes us brave is our enthusiasm to live through our trials, tribulations and hurdles in life while we still make the choice to hold our head up high the next day.
We become even stronger after all our experiences and painful moments, stronger and more whole than ever before.
Let us not live with fear of life.
©ttaylor-helser2018
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A Rose of Determination

Bragging rights, unabashedly.

I did it! Took hours, fingers crawled back into a fist, but I didn’t quit!

My first post stroke sketch I’m pleased with.
I’ve never been an artist, never claimed to be good, but I enjoy it.
Despite that a lot is left to be desired in skill I’m determined to use the neurons needed to help heal my brain in as many ways I can.
Using my right hand to improve its function and the zen like application of sweeping lines and playing with color is a reassuring way to relax outside of my head.

Posted in Uncategorized

MUCH APPRECIATED

Regardless of the phrasing….

Turn to

Run to

look to

enlist

reach out to

recruit

call in a favor

approach

invoke

or,  ‘scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours….’

asking for help

Do we tell our selves that we have it easy compared to others? Are we minimizing our importance of being human?
Maybe the fear of being told to ‘get over it’ or ‘that’s just life’ after sharing concerns with someone is having now to be willing to risk being seen as vulnerable. Without even anyone saying so I still hear in my head that “I am too weak/soft” and that I just need to ‘toughen up’. Perhaps you were brought up with importance placed on pride and raised that you were to be resilient, self-reliant, and independent. And there is this- From an early age as humans we are taught ‘you do this for me and I’ll do that for you.’ So when it comes to asking for help we might be afraid of what could be expected of us in return, especially when we are depleted and at a low point where we don’t feel like we have anything to give. The struggle is when you WANT and FEEL like giving yet you might feel trapped in a debt that you have no option to repay,

I have always taken pride in dealing with things alone, it was my way of retaining control. I might fear losing a grip now on the situation if I ask for help. My thoughts and worries race, I fear losing control. I might even be reluctant to ask for fear of the potential awkwardness down the line if someone takes me under their wing, gives me solutions and advice, and then only for me to choose to do something different. How do you tell them without rejecting the time, effort and more they gave to you? It can feel embarrassing and imprisoning, so I am reluctant to ask. Maybe you have experienced things that mean you find it very hard to trust other people. Or you’ve felt let down by people you thought would help you.

It can be so easy to convince our self that our problems are our problems, and we just need to get over our own “bad”self, that we should cope like everyone else, right? If we have been on the receiving end of words like those then we may fear hearing them again. There is a great undertone of rejection in those words. If you fear having your problems and concerns belittled then it’s logical that you will be more reluctant to bring them to another person. Yes.
There might also be a fear of judgement by the other person, especially if we need help with something that we feel embarrassed by or guilty about. Judgement is itself a very real form of rejection.
Or maybe you’ve had experiences of other people coming to you for help and that developed into a one way dependency relationship. It’s obvious to see why we might be uneasy about asking for help. We don’t want to make anyone feel about ourselves the way we felt and think about the person who is dependent on you, i.e. resentment towards you.
Perhaps too it’s not wanting to feel like we have brought an undeserved burden into someone else’s life. I struggle with being the center of attention, and the strange sense of self-consciousness in talking about myself and any problems I am experiencing, to someone else
Lastly a note related to Neuro-Fatigue:
Getting cognitively overwhelmed and the energy drain is a big one for most of us, and it factors into everything we do. Bringing other people into it, asking for help will take energy; explaining things, answering questions, and feeling many of the pressures, this all depletes our energy, and we have none in reserves. Asking for help, especially right away, becomes all overwhelming, albeit a self defeating and limiting concept, yet we don’t.
Can we agree today that we’ll try? It’s much appreciated.

©taylor-hyelser2019

Posted in Uncategorized

Determined

Every day in stroke recovery is different. As is every night.

I had been a chronic insomniac for 30 plus years when I had my stroke 14 weeks ago. Maybe the sleep deprivation caught up with me despite that I truly believed I had learned to roll with it. It was a most cathartic and productive time at dark o’clock in the middle of the night, I did some of my best writing while the world around me slept. Interestingly after the stroke I began sleeping at night, but to be truly transparent I must add that I also am sleeping during the day and evening too. The Neuro Fatigue is a constant struggle that no amount of rest resolves. Now at 2am in the morning I have been stood up by the Sand Man. Again “Mr No Show Johnson” is some other place than I am.

So I write.

determined

Staying Determined to put one foot in front of another even when you don’t feel you can lift your head is both challenging and empowering. That also can be different day by day, lately it’s more often than not. Despite being Determined to “Keep Keeping On” there are days that the effort, energy and motivation are epic fails.

There are days when getting out of bed and dressed are more than I can manage. Yet there are days I cannot begin my day fast enough. There seems to be no pattern to rely on, except when I have been especially busy and productive the day before I can count on not having an ounce of energy, sometimes not for a couple days after. Accomplishments of activities I once just did on autopilot now become enormous victories, these typically happen on days I feel energized and motivated. I celebrated the day I managed to use a manual can opener. On better days for my coordination and mobility I am able to draw and paint. Not good but I am Determined to do it anyway. Either kind of day may find me writing for an emotional outlet, being able to write again finally provides me with the most sense of things being normal. We need to connect with our “normal” sometimes.

As of yet I’ve not been released to return to work, my radio show, or even driving, early on my plan has been to use the time to continue the physical therapy every day, for joy to draw/paint even though I am right-handed and I have limited function still of my hand. Remember, every day is different (this is true for impairments from the stroke.) I also planned on using this time to sort and purge my cluttered home. I have an office/art room that is chock full of my business, art supplies, art tools, unfinished projects, music gear, music media….and junk! I have only used one corner of the room recently, and it was for a guest bed. Soooo…my agenda has been to make the room usable again for what I intended it for. I even asked a friend to move an old pedal sewing machine out of the room for me which I’d only been wanting to do for an entire year. Procrastination is certainly my middle name. Take one measure of Procrastination, mix in No-Motivation, then whip up weeks of Energy Deficiency and the perfect storm for Nothing Productive is created. I wasn’t making much headway in rebuilding a structure to my days post stroke. I’ve only managed to clean out and organize a few drawers. Yes, there is an analogy intended there.

I did actually start to make one routine happen while restructuring my life. I’d begun to routinely beat myself up on days that held no productivity to my name. I’d throw my hands up and declare “I’m freakin’ done!” This isn’t like me, well… the old me. Brain injuries change people. The old me was Determined. I needed to find her. Finding me and finding that determination and resolve was going to take some creativity on my part I soon recognized. I’d have to dig deep to find my way back to determination.

The very first thing I observed in my dig was that I was going to need to reassess what determination and living Determined means for me now. What was is not necessarily so today. Maybe it was time to accept that.

Determined acceptance.

Perhaps living Determined is about having the courage to accept just getting out of bed is enough. Especially on days when the fatigue is like being hit by a Mack truck.

Perhaps it is enough to be Determined to face the next hour when this one you can hardly breath, your body has gone numb and you fear you are having another stroke? Maybe being Determined is to accept that this is anxiety, not a stroke, and knowing it could happen again you face the next hour, and the next.

Being Determined means knowing when to push yourself, and it means knowing when to stop while you’re still ahead.

Being Determined I’ve discovered for me is knowing that just because something didn’t work today doesn’t mean it won’t tomorrow.

Being Determined is trusting that the struggles encountered today do not need to be my forever. My perception of living Determined means I must embrace the new me AND all that it means today post stroke.

I’d like to think that’s Determined Courage.

©taylor-helser2019