*First let me put a disclaimer here. I am going to talk about faith (religion if I may) as it applies to me. I never want to make another feel that I am weighing their faith or lack of in any way than my own. I believe in acceptance and only strength in whatever faith you may practice. I love you just the same. If this will cause a negative feeling in someone please feel free to click out now. I would never want that.
I made a blog post yesterday that stated God had given me a gift. Just so you know...I grew up protestant and a Christian. My first church was Presbyterian and later in my teens my family began going to Baptist church. As an adult I myself have not continued this childhood tradition of meeting every Sunday for church. I have my own spirituality and still identify myself as Christian. My extended family on my father's side were never church going and for most of them this is still true. On my mom's side, however, faith, Christianity, church, etc. have always been pretty important. My mom is now married to my wonderful step dad who is a ordained minister (he no longer practices but does perform marriage service for our family if desired.). They are a praying, believing, faithful couple. Again, I accept everyone and their beliefs for who/what they are. I will always foster friendship no matter. My point is I'm not perfect and expect that from no one else...I accept you period. I am concerned that i may have said something that feels hurtful to another survivor. If so please accept my apology. You see this gift in my heart is because I have a wonderful supporting family who have stood by my side through 3 years of fighting for disability. They have prayed so many times for me and for positive help to come my way. I have been unable to work, removed my life savings to survive after stroke, have literally lost everything I possessed, live with my father and step mom, my sister has let me use her "extra" car since I moved to my dad's and pays the insurance, my mom pays for my medication, all of my belongings (nothing worth money really, just the small things I still owned when I moved into my dad's are in a storage unit that my mom and step dad pay. Heck, my mom pays for my gas to get to the grocery, to Dr. appointments or any other thing I need to drive to. If not then she, my step dad, my stepmom, and my sister take me. I am beyond thankful and I feel unbelievably blessed. I know I am. My stroke wasn't a gift. It was just what happened to me one day back in July 2015. It has and is the hardest thing I have had to endure health wise by a long shot. No gift there. I thankfully have acknowledged that out of all the bad I have taken some things away and have learned others. These things do not help my deficits but they have helped me to accept me today. I also feel blessed to have this...I know many have not received this insight themselves (hopefully yet 🙂). Still, no matter, I only wish you the very best. If anything stroke has a consequence that many feel. It can make you question, yourself, your beliefs, your faith, your body, your doctor, your abilities...simply your life. It can trigger grieving for who we once knew ourselves to be. It can make us angry...at many things. It can push us to lose hope even for a little while (or more). We may forget what our dreams were or feel they are unreachable. It can effect every aspect of our lives. We are each unique in person, beliefs, circumstances, history, our strokes, how we cope...all dynamics. I can honestly say for myself that I haven't given up, I want my dreams even if they may be different than they were before, I can finally feel I can look forward, I can finally believe in myself and in my future whatever that holds. My gift of what I feel is a prayer heard and answered. I am beyond thankful. My stroke was not a gift but my faith has given me the strength to fight and hope. I hope your beliefs, faith, or whatever you have in your life lifts you. Thank you all for all your support the last couple of years. I couldn't have felt this way without it.