On my good days I channel Pollyanna utterly grateful for my world and everyone/part in/of it. I take this stroke, my brain damage, the physical handicaps as learning lessons and great blessings that I can work to try to earn as much of my life, myself as possible. I do honestly see things that way, feel that way but on days like today the gratefulness wars with weariness...
There is an amazingly humbling amount of people wanting to help, encourage and watch my journey cause it inspires and as grateful as I am for all the love and support I am still utterly alone in this. No one knows what it's like to constantly try to hide or make light of all my shortcomings, handicaps or challenges. You see that I found my words again but you have no idea the difficulty I have using them correctly, effectively and processing the words you throw at me. You see that I can still perform elementary math (most times) but have no idea that unless you tell me what function to perform I might as well have never seen a number before. I did not lose knowledge I just lost my problem solving, information processing and abstract thinking tools. It's like having all your money in a CD or IRA that you may NEVER be able to access.
I know that I don't have it in me to give up but it's terrifying to know that 80% of what I get back is a direct result of my work, dedication, and will to recover but the remaining 20 is up to nature, God, fate, the universe... not me. So as a defense mechanism I try to put on a 'recovered' face show only the strengths and none of the weaknesses (as much as possible) but it's bittersweet while people are less inclined to talk to me like a Make-A-Wish case that drools and has no real communication skills they also tend to expect more than I can deliver. My fault utterly and completely but for me it's a matter of pride and choosing the lesser of two evils. It just makes for a terrifyingly long solo journey. No one else can get me better, no one else can find my shortcomings and ways to heal them, no one else knows how it feels to have completely lost yourself, your identity to this event.
I used to bemoan the fact that I was always "just Chis" but now what I would give to be just plain old, one of the guys Chis again. I'm now either that young girl who had a stroke- poor thing, or I'm Chisa-did you know she had a stroke, or I'm the handicapped girl that's too much work to take out or take places. I get it and I am grateful for those who are still around, still enjoy my company but is this really all I am now???
Recovering takes up all my days and most of my mental and emotional energy but I am so fucking tired of being defined by this my life, the way people see me but most importantly how I see myself is completely immersed in this. And I am not even the same person on a base level, due to the location of my ruptured brain vessel the left hemisphere of my brain is now primary and overcompensating for my damaged right hemisphere... But being a right brained thinker for 26 years it's now as if I have stepped through the looking glass and turned around to view the room I was just in to find everything mirror-imaged, reversed. It's not my vision that has been mirror imaged but my perspective I see and react to EVERYTHING differently than I would have before the stroke and even more trippy I know it, recognize it but don't know which reaction to trust... The current gut reactions, opinions and feelings or how I know I WOULD HAVE felt, done or thought as my pre-stroke self. I guess ultimately I should be striving to reconcile and mesh the two halves to form a more complete version of myself. I just hope that I have the stamina for it and that my loved ones, my support system have not all been drained soo much that I really do end up alone.