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My mother invited me to a luncheon with some of her church friends ( they are a hoot and I adore them)

 

We got started on the discussion, well they were for I didn't know who they were talking about, about a gentleman in their congregation who is a very angry man. His wife died of cancer but even before she passed, he was angry. I asked if it started during her illness.. to which they said yes.

I was listening as they were saying that he went to a grief counselor, as well as a group, only to complain that it wasn't a good fit.

Well of course I piped in with the reference of surviving stroke and how some people on here talk about grief. How, with the many steps of grief, there is no order not time frame that someone deals with grief. 

That got me thinking as I was giving examples like ,'you can be angry for weeks, then maybe skip to the barging step for a few weeks then back to angry'

 

As I was talking, I started to think on how, I know I'm guilty of this, I always want to see the positive and share with others that it will get easier. I know when I first had my stroke, I didn't want to hear that life will easier for me for at that moment in time.. life sucked and I couldn't see past the next day. 

One of the ladies said that he agreed to go to lunch with her , so they could talk. I smiled for that is HUGE. 

 

 

At the end of the conversation, I was left in a quandary. We always try to give a positive outlook  for stroke survivors, which is a good thing, but …….

I always try to bring myself back to my first day. I was angry and didn't want to hear life gets better...

 

What are your thoughts about this?

 

 

https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-5-stages-of-loss-and-grief/

grief.png

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Hi Kelli, yes but we need to tell people it does get better because it does and even if they aren't ready to hear at that moment they might remember it when they are more ready to hear. But it also doesn't hurt to remind us (stroke survivors) that we are also in a grieving cycle for the person we have "lost" it doesn't matter that that person is ourselves as we once were and expected to be forever.  I know some people get cross at those of us who have reached acceptance and cant believe we have "given up" but that is again that drop back to anger. 

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I agree with you. It just got me thinking 🤔 how you (not literally but generally) felt when you were told ‘things will get better’

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Well personally my reaction was "things !@#$%^^$@#& will get better"  I'm a stubborn b.... and I'll beat this thing. I was also lucky to have a role model who had something similar but in many ways worse "steal" her life. and she kept fighting and being cheerful (at least on the outside) even though the best she could hope for was to slow her decline. I at least knew that with work I could improve if not all the way back to pre stroke.  I'm not saying there weren't days where I threw in the towel and howled, but mostly I managed to keep positive.

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I'm so on the fence... Literally swaying one way or another right now. I have come a long way. The turmoil that I feel inside when going down is so excruciating that all I want is inner peace. Man... Inner peace. For a long time after my stroke I didn't know if that existed. Today I am on a roller coaster. That's why I have said several times that I have to reaffirm everyday to accept who I am that day. Sometimes ladies I am hopeless, lost, alone, so depressed. Then another day I am hopeful and making future plans... excited about things to come. Then another day I am angry with everything, I don't like people, I don't want to be around them, I pray for a small box to crawl into or like a video on my Facebook... I want to hide in a costume and beat the living daylights out of a squishy thing. I mean really go at it! This grief is an ongoing process for me still but there are days where I feel like Im winning. My Cognitive and Psychological issues get in the way... I still have massive anxiety, PBA, panic attacks, and a host of other things. It has been easier for me to process my physical issues and sometimes there is no sane process for the other. At least now I do feel like inner peace is possible. That's huge. It's been a journey... the road is still going but I'm seeing more rest areas and attractions. It has gotten better and that gives me hope. I don't think there is a right answer I do think there is a right direction. I just think some have a longer road to travel. 

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Good question. I’m going to have a spa, feed my dog dip and biccies whilst I spa, andthink on this.

Will get back to you.

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I am no stranger to grief_both before and after stroke. I think that grieving is a very individualized process in which you may or may not go thru all of the steps listed.  You may not even go through the steps one at a time. One can feel angry and depressed at the same time, for example. You can even vacillate-you literally feel one way one second,   and another way the next second. You can get 'stuck' anywhere along the road, For instance, I got stuck in Denial for awhile. Even though I had no cognitive damage from my stroke, I somehow managed to convince myself that if I could just go home, everything would be all right. Ironically, it was when I went home and found that I was physically unable to do things that I was used to doing that reality started to sink in, as I could no longer deny it. Today, 12 years after my stroke, I readily acknowledge that I had a stroke. I accept the fact that there are things that I'll never be able to do like work or drive. I can also accept that there is a "New me" who needs to do things differently. But  I also believe that improvement is possible and worth striving for. "Acceptance" is another way of saying" learning to function with a hole in your heart".       Becky

 

  

 

 

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Amen Becky! 

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I've pondered over this question for a while. 

 

When I was in the hospital,  it was constant OT, physio, tests, doctors, student doctors...I was never alone.

I had no time to cocoon myself away from the world and process what was happening. 

 

When I got back to town (I was sent to perth) it was Day Therapy Unit, doctor, home visits from everyone in town linked to stroke support,  back to work part time (I tried...😥) kids, Skype with the Neuro....

 

I had a meltdown in the Carpark at the hospital. 

 

No wonder. 

 

Things do go better. But I had no time to listen to that. Unfortunately. 

 

I know time is crucial, but in the long run, wouldn't some time with a grief counsellor or stroke support be beneficial?

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It is 100% for me. My local stroke support group is my social saving grace once a month. I'm sad if I miss it. I feel more alive after one. It lingers. My goal is not pondering 😵. I don't think it's very effective at times 😏. Also, my Cognitive therapy although just beginning, I look forward to it. Yes I ponder and speak but I also learn new ways to cope. Active learning. I shoot for some form of balance. That way I don't fall too far either way on the fence. 

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That sounds like a good approach Tracy. Janelle part of my inpatient rehab was weekly sessions with the psychologist. It was added to my schedule automatically once the night nurses worked out/reported I was crying myself to sleep most nights. As it turned out that was emotional lability (PBA) more than anything. But it did mean once she worked that out I was referred to the psychiatrist, who could prescribe the meds.

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I'm glad they were on to it Heather,  but I think that goes exactly with what I am saying. 

You were sent to a psychologist only after they found you crying.

I think it needs to happen from the outset, counselling.  Not just when something rears its ugly head. 

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Janelle I feel you have a very valid point. Not everyone is willing to get this help but I think it is crucial for women and men. We are so different (women and men) and we deal with things differently. I don't know a single stroke survivor who has not struggled with emotional/psychological issues after stroke. Not one. I feel this should be one of the pieces of rcovery process. Automatically. I think it would improve how we gain from all other therapies. Just my opinion.

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I have to admit  I was not very happy to be suddenly sent to the Psych with no warning and no explanation. I'm not sure I would have gone if it hadn't meant I'd lose my other therapies.  It was one of those things where you think you're doing OK and it hurts to be told you aren't.  In hind sight I know they did the right thing, but at the time I wasn't very impressed.

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I think that it depends on the person.  In the first year after my stroke, I felt confused most of the time, and I lived in a never-ending fog. I don't think that therapy would have helped much. But, in my second and third years, I felt mostly anger and fear. Therapy could have helped. Becky

 

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Becky that is a great point too. I was pretty much the same as you. I did see a therapist for a few months starting at about maybe 10-11 months after. Guess what... I don't remember it. I know I went. I kinda can see him and his office in my head. I know that every time I went we both took our shoes off and curled up with pillows. He in his chair (like from a living room set nnot his desk chair) and me on the big fluffy couch. That's it... The rest is forgotten. I'm sure it helped me endure the moments during that time but it truly didn't stick with me. I am now going to Cognitive Behavior Therapy via the Internet... We kinda like Skype but it's a different program. Now I am able to be active at working things out. Learning. Writing. I will take it with me because now I have made the Cognitive decision to record my progress and learnings. I just existed the first time. I just realized that truth when I read your post. Interesting. I think survivors can benefit with both... then and now. I agree with you though at least for myself, I don't remember hardly any of the first year post stroke and only bits and pieces of the second year. During that 2nd year memories started to be just that memories... I can remember many. I don't know what you call the first year "memories"... certainly don't fit that definition. 

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My counsellor became my friend.

His wife and children also.

When they left town I was devastated, but we still keepin contact.

I haven’t seen anyone since.

Still in two minds about that.

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On ‎4‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 10:15 AM, GreenQueen said:

My counsellor became my friend.

His wife and children also.ch

When they left town I was devastated, but we still keepin contact.

I haven’t seen anyone since.

Still in two minds about that.

that is a true. Some people wo come into our lives and  help in profound ways are indeed a true blessing. When they leave, or anyone for that matter, is devastating and makes us, or me, feel like I'm starting  from scratch.

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Exactly Kelli, starting from scratch. 

Not entirely sure if it's always worth it. 

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On 4/1/2019 at 9:15 AM, GreenQueen said:

My counsellor became my friend.

His wife and children also.

When they left town I was devastated, but we still keepin contact.

I haven’t seen anyone since.

Still in two minds about that.

 

On 4/4/2019 at 1:53 PM, ksmith said:

that is a true. Some people wo come into our lives and  help in profound ways are indeed a true blessing. When they leave, or anyone for that matter, is devastating and makes us, or me, feel like I'm starting  from scratch.

You guys I feel the same. I'm glad you are still in touch Janelle. I think I would wonder about being worth it like you said. I guess because just reading I am putting myself in your place... It is literally overwhelmingly exhausting. One thing not to remember another to remember at a moment where you are in between not remembering and when you are able to apply to your life. It's freaking hard work to get there and there is a fragile time period where change can mean loss. It makes me lose my breath. I completely know the benefits and believe that many times you have to work before you reap the benefit... message "do it anyway!". That struggle is so real. 

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Tracy, yes, I certainly do think I will go back to counselling.

 

I am trying to find time. I know that sounds like an excuse, but with everything else going on...I’m not comfortable being ‘first’ in the family. I need everyone else to be at their best before I concentrate on me.

 

I’ve always been that way...can’t see it changing...unfortunate or not, that’s how it is.

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Oh Janelle I completely understand. Completely. 

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