hope around the corner

park off pavement

In a previous post entitled “A Chock Full Day,” I wrote:

I have discovered on this trip newly returned capabilities, and some lessons in my stroke recovery–one thing being, I have decided to put it past me. At least superficially and publicly. I’ll still be coping and the issues may pop up, and I may air them, but for now, I’m going to push myself very very hard, privately, and see where that leads me.

Famous last words. I must have uttered them in a moment of extreme self consciousness about my recovery, hoping to retreat and hoping to not bother people with “this shit.”

But here I am again, sharing new stages (sorry, I hope you’re not sick of this, but it really does help me to air them here on the blog when I cannot air them so readily in person) of my path back.

Today I went to the speech therapist. This is my third visit to the speech therapist in about as many months (The first visit in January being an assessment with one therapist…then a second visit with someone who made me cry the entire time).

It’s a weird logistical chain of events that has led me to so few visits to speech therapy–I was supposed to have had 3 visits a week starting immediately after my stroke.

I had given up on the possibility that someone would help me–and that I was possibly beyond help, being too far along in my progress to merit help, yet not far enough to be back to my full capabilities. I was, I felt, in the ill-fated “in-between.” I had resigned myself to going about my recovery alone, climbing the mountain ahead of me in bitter silence.

But today I met a therapist who was awesome. We did a fiction writing exercise in which she broke down the writing process into little chunks–and she started me with note taking, and documenting my brainstorming process (“Do a characterization exercise–write down everything about a character.”)

She answered my prayers! (And she answered the request I made of the other awful speech therapist, of whom I asked, “Can you help me break it down? I can’t figure out how to break it down into steps.”) I loved her five minutes into our session, and I felt some part of me that I had locked away deep in my soul for the time being start jumping up and down in jubilation. (Yay! Yay! Yay!)

It was worth the wait.

I am a writer who previously brainstormed in her head, waited for everything to gestate, and then sat down to a cascade of words and story. Not so these days–my most recent attempt at fiction manifested in a halting set of unripe sentences. What had happened to the story in my head?

I resigned myself to more im/patient waiting. I believe my writing will be worth the wait, I believe that it will be changed for the better.
Today I feel like I am on the road back.

In other news–Susan awarded me a Thinking Blogger award! And I got my official rejection letter from the Stegner program (“Dear Writer,” the letter impersonally begins)–it was not unexpected (this handy website let me know in advance) and I finally feel closure on the matter.



Filed under Life, The Stroke, Writing

14 responses to “hope around the corner

  1. Jade – I LOVE hearing about your progress, so please do keep sharing. It is my personal belief that you are writing a book in this blog, a rollercoastery, thrilling, stomach-dropping book. And your new therapist sounds AMAZING. Is she a writer, too? How very cool that she had you writing fiction! Are you going to see her 3x a week now? She sounds fantastic.

  2. Great news that you’ve found a therapist who understands you and can help with the creative process. She sounds wonderful.

  3. dude–can you believe it? my new therapist did not say she is a writer (though she seems like it), but her sister in law is a Korean adoptee, so I ended up talking about you in my speech therapy, Susan!

    she is in such high demand that she is only available once a week, and i don’t see her for 2 more weeks, but i don’t care, she is worth the wait.

  4. I’m so glad you found someone who works with you and is a help!

  5. Eric

    Well halle-fraqn’luyah!!!! Its about time someone came into your world who recognized that you – YOU – are someone special and needs to be treated that way. You’re not just some person who had a stroke who needs to learn to talk again. You’re a WRITER dammit – who needs to learn to CREATE again. If it takes steps to get it done, it takes steps. It takes time – but finally here’s someone who seems to know what the hell they’re doing. Snag her often!!
    Biggest hugs, Jade,

  6. You are wonderful… we’re all pulling for you during the recovery process, so we like when you write about your progress! If it’s therapeutic for you, don’t stop (writing about it here).

  7. Jade, I am so happy you found the right person. I had been holding my breath, hoping you would. This is truly wonderful news.

  8. I have read several of your writings about your stroke and recovery progress. What you have done is chronicle your ongoing recovery and your feelings of frustration of what the stroke has added as a complication to your process as a writer.
    This is invaluable for anyone who has had a loss of physical and cognitive ability to read and understand they too have to make a graceful accomodation to their change in circumstance.
    You may want to consider compiling and publishing your journal notes ( your sketches) to accompany your more polished writings. Your notes are a goldmine of reference material for you as a writer (much as flat file references are for creative visual types).
    Finally, I am happy to hear you have found a therapist who is sensitive to your concerns and has broken down for you a methodology for going back to beginning techniques(which you knew already, but which was a part of your memory loss) for writing. It too is like learning to crawl before walking, but with language.
    You will get there!!

  9. You guys are so awesome for rooting for me! Your support makes a Big Positive Difference in my life. 🙂

  10. zditty

    Hey you.

    I apologize for my lack of commentary. I have been almost entirely off the blogosphere. It felt important to say “right on” to all your progress. Bless you.

  11. Glad to hear you finally got the speech therapist you needed and are right on your recovery path. Just know we are all supporting you in any way we can Jade.

  12. rock on to you and your new therapist — totally worth it after the last one who didn’t seem to have a clue to what you needed.

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