If you would have asked me a month ago, where I thought I’d be today I would have told you frolicking in Asia with my besties from college. I would have never told you that I would end up cancelling my dream trip to Asia, or that I would have ended my internship early and cancelling my graduation party. I would have never said i would be caring for my father after a serious stroke. I would have never told you that my days would be composed of eating no salt, doing physical therapy with my dad and teaching him how to write his own name. I would have never told you I’ve seen my dad cry so hard he couldn’t breathe. I would have never told you that I would spend a couple hours a week crying into my own pillow and not know the exact reason why. I would have never told you I would have thought about my own mortality and the mortality that we all behold yet ignore, day to day. I would have never told you that I felt trapped yet completely unable to leave. I would have never told you any of this.
Everyone contains the universe within. Everything that you would like to change out there in the world must first be changed within. If you want to create a better world you must start by creating a better self.
—Carolina Zacaria (via blogcarolinazacariaworld)
Looking outside of the window, up at the starry night she thought about many lovely nights with different lovers who had hugged her the right way, caressed her with the right touch and made her laugh to the point of tears. She thought about those nights and realized she had no one in particular to miss on this particular night. No one to pine over and no scent, shoulders or stubbly beard to reminisce over. She just had memories-a montage, if you will- of lovers who made her laugh, smile and had made her cry as well. She placed her hand on her chest. She felt a small hole in her chest. Not a real hole of course, but a small hollow space to left of her heart. And she realized that no matter who she would be with, it would be there. For no one could fill it.
Other than herself.
She went up a couple of steps and took a pause with her hand on the doorknob.
She looked up at the house and knew what it meant if she were to walk in. She knew that it meant staying locked in forever. That house meant the end of freedom. The house meant imprisonment. Maybe even losing a part of herself. Yet, somehow she knew it was her salvation.
So she walked in.
Taking it all step by step.
Feels like I’m rebuilding myself.
And that’s okay.
I’m where I need to be.
Today marks the one month mark since my father’s stroke. It’s hard to believe because the month has dragged on by and simultaneously flown by. This month anniversary signifies a lot for my father of course, but also for myself. It marks a month of being stretched the farthest I have ever been stretched, emotionally and spiritually. I remember collapsing on the kitchen floor one night, feeling completely defeated and scared. I was staring up at the ceiling thinking “Am I going to survive this?”
I have faced part of my self that I didn’t know existed. I have looked at parts of me that were scary. I saw anger, hopelessness and depression. But most of all anger. I was so mad. At everyone and everything. I have had thoughts I am afraid to say out loud and feelings I thought were eating me from the inside out.
However I have amazed myself as well. I have experienced strength, hope and resiliency. To an extent that I did not know I possessed. Love and compassion as flown through my pores, when I didn’t know it could.
This life experience has pushed me to limits, in every direction. I can sit here and write about how horrible it’s been and how I am weighed by thoughts of death and illness or I can choose a different route for my energy.
I can grow from this. I can choose to look at those scary parts and be grateful that I know of their existence and I can look at the beautiful facets of my being and focus on those, and help them grow and expand until there isn’t room for anger and fear.
Stronger After Stroke; By Peter G. Levine
I purchased this book right after finishing “My Stroke of Insight” because I wanted someone more technical and specific in how to help my father out in his recovery. To my delight, this book is written by an author whom I really respect and am knowledgeable about. This isn’t a leisurely read but rather a detailed set of instructions and explanations about how to recover after a stroke, with specific plans. I will say that it instills a lot of hope and has easy to understand material. I’m putting this book under my reading tab, not because I want to recommend it to all my followers as a great read but because if there is any other survivors or caregivers who can benefit from this, I just have to put it out there.
Read this book if:
- you are a stroke survivor or are a caregiver for someone who had a stroke
Message me if you have any questions about it.