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Mind Therapy




Well, some great news from my friend "Mike" a survivor I met in rehab. Mike was an avid bike rider prior to his stroke. While in rehab I dreamed of carrying my canoe again, and "Mike" dreamed of riding his bike again. When I called yesterday, he was bursting to tell me he rode his bike. He rode it about a mile. Not as far or as fast as he wanted, but he rode it. I suspect the race he and I are planning down our driveway this summer might be tough for me to win. All in all a great week for both of us. I am still disappointed that the canoe carry was not as easy as I had hoped, but I know it will soon get better.


Dickons has given us a great new topic to talk about. Stress. Anyone else out there ever feel any stress? Stress is a mind function we can ultimately control with practice. We know that physical issues require time, practice, patience. We are told that the brain is growing new pathways and neurons to reprogram itself after a stroke to replace that which was lost. We don't like it, but we accept it. The mind is part of the brain, right? It took however many years we have been around to arrive at the place where we are physically. It took the same number of years for us to arrive where we are mentally. All of the stories I have told here that affected my life took time and practice to implement. Some are still a work in progress.


We were not born a worry wort. We had no stress when we were born. It is learned behavior. It took many years to develop these worry habits, it will take time to overcome and change them. It will take practice and effort. I think because it is a thought process we expect immediate results. Not going to happen. All of us know someone who has had a "conversion" experience of some sort or another. Such people often claim a miraculous change in their personality. The core of that person is still there. If they had anger management issues before, they likely still will. If they smoked, drank or anything else, it probably is not far from the surface.


True complete instaneous mental changes are possible, but quite rare. Just as there is no magic pill to fix the physical maladies a stroke causes, there is no such pill or therapy for the mental stress living life can cause, even without a stroke. Earlier in my blog I stressed to please start at the beginning and not skip any steps to my mind cleaning plan. I repeat that request. You can't read the last chapter in the book and expect it to stand on it's own. You must follow each step in order, and not progress to the next step until you have mastered the one you are on. Some of the steps will come easy, some hard. Takes time and work. Some parts may never be completely mastered to perfection, we are human.


Several years ago my late wife and two best male friends all told me within a few months of each other, all without the others knowing what they told me, that I had a tendency to be overbearing and intimidating. After the third person told me that, all of them important people in my life that I respected, I finally realized there must be something to it. First, that I was blessed to have three people in my life that would be that honest with me. Then I had to admit to something I really didn't want to face up to. Since that time I have worked very hard to soften the personality and talk less and listen more. It is still a work in progress and I work on it everyday. You will have to do the same on whatever mind adjustments you need to make. Start small, grow into it as you can, just like the PT & OT we all know so well. You will fail sometimes, and it will hurt sometimes. The result of a happier you will be worth the effort.


About the dog(s). Well, since we already have one, our Bichon, I think two more would just be too much right now. One more is probably enough. Lesley disagrees. Oh well.


The Active Release therapy continues Sunday. The therapist is coming to the house for an in home session. I will report next week on the results.



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Sorry if we "made things worse" by suggesting getting both pups lol!


Your point is well taken regarding stress and being a worry wort. I was not born one, but quickly became one in a reaction to "life experiences". Granted, it was "my" reaction to events and incidences that occurred. Just as physical changes take practice, I know these mental "stress-related" changes also will take progress. The biggie for me has been incorporating your 93% theory - that has assisted me immensely.


Congrats to you and "Mike" for recent accomplishments. WTG!!

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George, I must say that after 2 strokes due to stress, I have had to "mellow" or I'll be suffering a third and 3 strikes you're out. That said, since I don't have a chance to not "cool it", guess I better be sure that I am practicing to stay calm and to he*# with anything that will stress me. :Tantrum: No, No, No!!! :cloud9: ah yes.
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Hi George,


I agree and somewhat disagree with you on stress. I believe that personalities and traits are genetically encoded, and I have seen it as I am adopted and have real data to work with.


Having said that, I agree that allowing yourself to worry is something that we choose to do. Something that we have continued to chose to do over and over again, and that we need to retrain our brain to distract and conquer the worrying.


The deep breathing helps, at least right now it relaxes me.


Thanks for the interesting thoughts.


Kind regards,


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I agree that many factors can lead us to living a life of stress. Just living life itself can do it. Genes, environmental factors, education, how we were raised, many other things. Very good point. My point however is that we can each make our own decisions about this. My father was an alchoholic. It eventually claimed his life. Many on his side of the family are or were. I am probably predisposed to being one if I choose to be. I could use that fact as a crutch if I wanted to. I used to drink far too much in my younger years. Finally realized I was going down the same road. Quit cold turkey. Not a drink for 25 years. I choose not to be an alchoholic. Thanks for the point. I don't go to meetings or any support group. I just quit. Period. I understand that not doing something if we were raised that way or used to doing it that way is difficult to change. But it can be done if we want to do it bad enough.

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