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fighting the monster



I really do love you guys. Thanks for all of your support. I was able to tell my OT this morning some of the stuff I learn from this board that she had never heard of. I am glad I went to chat lastnight because I was also able to explain to her Im not the ONLY one that just cant sleep with the splint on and if I do manage to fall asleep with it on, I take it off in my sleep or its not on when I wake up. So I really am glad this board is still around.


I wrote a poem on Sunday. I had not wrote one in a while. I cant explain what the monster is. The monster is many different things (a sudden mood change, a feeling of worthlessness, a desire to be dead, etc). The monster pops up when I think Im doing okay and does not leave me alone until it feels like it. I hope the poem will explain how no matter what I try to do, say, or think sometimes I just cant feel happy and it makes me want to cry when I cant even force myself to smile sometimes and dont know why.


The monster in my brain is rearing its ugly head

Making me feel insane for confining myself to my bed

“You’re stupid. You’re ugly.” I hear in my ears.

“No one will ever love you.” it tells my fears.

“But I’m smart! I’m beautiful!” I tell the demon in my head.

“But if that were true why do you wish you were dead?”

“I don’t know. I can’t explain.

The loneliness? The emptiness? The never-ending pain?”

One minute I feel alive, the next I wanna die.

One minute I’m laughing, the next I wanna cry.

What’s wrong with me? I ask the empty silence.

Why do I look at peace but only see violence?

I look at a bright smile but see a hidden frown.

A newborn baby leads to a casket underground.

A clear blue sky turns into a rainy night.

A couple holding hands leads to a violent fight.

My view only sees through dead rose shaded glasses.

My failed attempt at joining the rank of the optimistic masses

I accomplished my goals, I achieved my dreams!

So why am I still ignorant to what happiness means?

They say ignorance is bliss but how could this be?

When your ignorant to happiness what does bliss really mean?

Audiobooks, affirmations, meditation dvds

Church, religion, I’ve tried all these things.

Yet joy is something I cannot find

When they removed part of my brain I lost my mind


I try to see in color but all that appears is black and white

When depression is the aggressor I am powerless in this fight

I try to psych myself up and declare I WILL win!

But then the monster rears its ugly head again…


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Your poem describes it perfectly and beautifully. You say you don't know why. Please try to think of it just like your arm---a stroke deficit. It's not a character flaw. Affirmations won't fix it. Platitudes and mind over matter won't help. You have proven time after time your tenaciousness and if any of the things I just mentioned would work, you would be skipping through roses right now. All the things you hear--go for a walk, call a friend, count your blessings do work for most people who experience the blues. Not for a brain deficit.

You've overcome so much and you deserve to feel better. Think of it as emotional rehab because that's what it is. Get help if you need it, just like you do for your arm.

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I just met you in chat yesterday, but have read a few of your posts. You're quite gifted at writing poetry, I can say that with certainty. I can also say that I can empathize with some of the things you say in your poem, having experienced them myself at some point in the last 4+ years of post-stroke life. What helped me significantly during my lowest times was talking to a health professional, specifically a talk therapist. My insurance covered it just like it did with PT and OT. The talk therapy helped tremendously and helped me find my way back to my happy self.



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