Well, Labor Day was yesterday and it’s now exactly 7 years since my stroke on 9/5/2010. Recovery has been a long and challenging road. Progress can be slow, and it can be difficult to accept the changes that have occurred. I’m back at lake Tahoe where this odyssey began, and despite the beauty and ability to go for walks, rides and kayaks on the lake, I’m actually feeling pretty low right now.
In so many ways I feel lucky – to be alive, to have great support, to be doing so much more than I could for so long after my stroke. But like I just re-read in the draft of my book, I don’t think it’s realistic for most survivors to ever stop mourning the loss of the life that was, at least from time to time. I’ve spent the past week on a “writing retreat” for my book, and am really hating how much help I need with it. So I guess I’m really mourning that loss right now. I expect I will bounce back soon, as I have in the past, and focus more on the progress I’ve made and all that I am able to do.
So where am I on the book? My co-author, Sally Collings, spent much of the past 2 months pulling together 18 months of our work into a first full draft. Now I’m getting some help from Steve and our son Danny to take it the next step. Don’t know exactly what the timing will be. I’m definitely getting stressed by the desire to complete the book – I think that’s a big part of my being down. I know I need to let go of the outcome and trust the process. Sometimes easier said than done. I think I was better at doing that for a while during my stroke recovery – maybe the fact that writing this book is more like my old life is making that harder for me again.
I hope to use this “7 year anniversary” as the start of more regular blogging – maybe every week or so. I will share updates on my book process, thoughts that are salient as we work, and other glimpses into my ongoing recovery.
Sorry if you find this a little bit gloomy. But life can have its gloomy days for everyone. And stroke recovery is hard. I hope and trust my future posts will reflect a lot more joy – I’ve had lots of it these past 7 years, and I know there’s more just around the corner.
Happy Labor Day to all.