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Wearing a Mask



I feel like I am wearing a mask. I have to cover up how I really feel. When I am hopeless I have to hide it with faith. When I have given up, I have to hide it with acceptance. When I truly am tired of being like this, I have to hide it by displaying thankfulness for life. I can never truly be myself. Ever since 2001, I have been the one people look to for inspiration. Since graduation I have spoke at 3 different churches and I speak again next month. I AM thankful for live, I DO believe Jesus is a healer, it's just that I get tired of only showing this side to people. I always keep a smile on my face and never let anyone see me shed a tear. When my good arm is tired from typing at work or my bad shoulder is starting to get stiff and sore from sitting at my desk so long, I just keep typing and make conversation. In my mind I really want to tell everyone in my office how tired I am. When my co-workers ask "Do you need a hand" (no pun intended I guess) I always say no I got it but in my mind I really want the help. I just don't want to feel defeated. I feel like I have to be Katrina the inspiration 24/7. If I take off this mask, I will be letting everyone down. I will no longer be the one everyone looks up to, I will be the one they look down on. I just wish I could be myself sometimes.


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Katrina: you are not the poster child for stroke. You are just yourself. How can you possibly inspire others if you do not first inspire yourself? You need to reflect at the end of every day, just what you accomplished for yourself, your recovery.


You have a lot on your plate and feel you should be able to handle all the requests made of you. You survived, you graduated, you hold a job. Yes, major, major accomplishments, but you are still a stroke victim and encompass all that involves.


It is time to take a breath and re-evaluate. What do you need? What can you do that gives you strength but also allows time to give back. You know you are in for a long haul. Consider cutting back a bit, maybe just for the summer-work, exercise, home, rest, recovery. Take a page out of Lydia's book, concentrate on work and home for a couple of weeks, lay off the extra stuff. You will still be able to speak for all Stroke Victims in the fall! Debbie

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Think about the full scope. Being an inspiration does not necessarily mean you always need to be perfect. To be one others can look up to and emulate isn't it important for them to relate and see you are human?

What good is an image that's impossible to live up to? It's okay to hurt, feel tired, and ask for help. It shows others that you are human and a real person. When others see you are real like them, they are inspired because they believe you are like them so if you can do it they can too.


I may be wrong, but I'm somewhat hearing that you'd like to live your life and through it be an inspiration, but aren't too happy with celebrity of it and the part you must play to uphold that.

If you really don't like it learn to say no, instead get involved in other ways you can make a difference that are more in line with who you are.


Maria :mwah:

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you are wearing yourself out trying to keep this mask on and its really not necessary you are only assuming that people will see you as letting them down, i understand how you feel, its the main reason i did not return to a job i loved after my stroke because i felt i could not pull my weight. Try asking just once and see what happens, the people in your office will probably be only to glad to help but dont offer it for fear of offending you. try it, the weight of the mask is exhausting you and you need your energy for other things.

take care and give yourself a break hon


p.s. if you are tired and your shoulder is getting really tight and sore ( i get that too ) its a message telling you to take a break that you have overdone it :)even for a few mins relax and loosen up that shoulder and when its less tense go back to what you were at. I have to take my own advice now as my back is killing me and shoulder blade must surely have a knife sticking out of it

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only dead people can be inspiration to everyone 24X7. you are human being with emotions, so can't be inspiration to everybody 24X7. you are allowed to have down day, and just because you asked for help does not make you slacker. even healthy human being also needs help, so asking for help does not make you weak person. you are inspiration to lot of people with so much you have achieved even after stroke. you persisted even after such a uphill battle & that's major achievement. So enjoy the journey katrina without added pressure of being person to look upto. be yourself. you are great the way you are.



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My hope is one day you will be your old self or new self that makes you a happy lady with all smiles!

Fred! :rolleyes:

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Oh, darling - I hear you! I, too, started out this way... people would try to help me and I would not let them, telling them that if I don't try to do it myself I might not ever get well. Know what I learned since my stroke in 2010? People are soooo glad to help! They feel supportive! The don't want to take anything away from me, and most people will say "OK - but I'll be standing right here, just in case." I have not written here in months because I started writing again for my local chapter of Lion's International. I write a newsletter called "The Lion's Roar" and this month's issue's 1st article is FACT - How to determine you're having a stroke and what to do. At first I thought it somewhat self-serving because , to me - it was cathartic.... but members wanted to know all about stroke...so I'm helping. And when friends offer to help? Know what ? I now let them. Because it makes all of us feel good. I was feeling handicapped and old but I'm getting over that. I'm 74 and want to make it to 75 and I'll take all the help I can get.

So, put your feet up and if someone offers you coffee - say YES, extra light with one Sweet'N Low!

Im looking forward to reading great things from you.


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Hi Katrina I understand how hard it is to stay upbeat, motivated & be content when it has been so long with so little improvement. I'm 9 yrs. still don't walk unaided mostly due to shot knee i'm59. cant go to bathroom by mysefg if we R out & can't find correct assist bar. I, too, fight giving up. My biggest motivator & feeling of some hope & possibilities has been Thephoenix. as you may know she's a neuro who haquite a severe stroke a yearish ago. she really, really believes on the slow but continual recovery - this is based on her knowledge, education,&stroke experience. I find it easier to get enthused by her as she understands my severity. she's a great gal.


Katrina I suggest you read anything she has posted at least 2 blogs and perhaps introduce yourself to her via pm

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