I have been feeling awful these days–really awful for the first time since the stroke. After weeks of brave optimism and pragmatism, I’ve fallen into a pit–and of course, I find it difficult and painful to describe the position I’m in.
Yes, I have wonderful moments, like when a friend visits from out of town (hello, you know who you are, my dears!) and we run all over town, visiting all of Berkeley and Oakland’s meaningful foodie sites (from International Blvd to Berkeley Bowl to the Gourmet Ghetto for starters)…but mostly, I’m biting my tongue and taking very shallow breaths, just like someone in physical pain.
I’m in emotional and mental pain. I’m lost. It’s awful.
I’m getting better much more slowly now–the first few dramatic weeks of recovery behind me. Now I’m looking at a mountain peak hundreds of feet up, with slower progress, less emotional resolve, and a broken leg. Oh, and a broken leg that no one can actually see, so I don’t get a lot of forgiveness for my deficits and instead get a lot of impatience and quizzical looks. It is a very lonely road.
It’s up to me to say “No, I can’t do that,” and that’s an overwhelming task for me to accomplish. Recognize and voice my limitations? Sheeit. And nevermind the people who like to say, “You don’t LOOK like you’ve had a stroke!” Sheeit. I feel like a stupid f*ck who can’t remember things well, and this all sucks now in a frightening way.
I still can’t remember things! I cannot hold onto my thoughts and I’m sick of being a receptacle of only the present moment. (I watched “Finding Nemo” last night and actually empathized with Dory, the fish who is dealing with short term memory loss–it was both funny and horrifying). The lesson of living in the moment is wearing thin.
My brain was the part of me I always relied on most. I don’t like the way I look (what woman really does?) and I am so not an athlete–so I always relied on my ability to THINK and REMEMBER, and rely on my BRAIN.
And now it is GONE. I’m infuriated and depressed. And will I be the same again? No.
p.p.s. Oh, and don’t try to “cheer” me up. I can’t handle it. I know you all want me to be happy but I can’t put on that show for you. I just can’t.