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Simple Realizations



Just recently, I have had a few simple, possibly cheap, realizations.


I asked a good, kind, honest friend if he noticed any personality changes from B.S. to A.S.S. (Before Stroke to After Sherri's Stroke). Being the good psychologist that he is, he said that he noticed slightly flattened affect (less visible emotion).


After thinking about this intently, I realized this morning that it is because I have always analyzed a situation before I determined emotion. This usually happened very quickly so that it wasn't as noticeable. The reason that I do this is because, otherwise, my first immediate reaction is of anger or unhappiness, even if it is a good situation. I need to determine that the situation is good first. There are plenty of reasons for this reaction, none of which I would like to delve into right now. Suffice to say that I feel my reasons are just and it is a habit that I don't think I could, or would want to, break.


Anyway, I think one of the reasons for the flattened affect was because I simply didn't have the mental resources to analyze and determine the correct emotion. I was too busy checking systems (I still have to move toes and fingers to reassure myself that I am not stroking again), and checking to see where my limbs are since they are so unused to just being (proprioception was lost for some time) especially with the new brain cells that were controlling them.


I was relieved to solve that observation. A new one has popped up.


I am reading a good book and really connected with the something the character felt/said. He had a drive that was unstoppable for most of his life and he recently noticed that he had recently resigned to his current state of being. I hate that I have, in some sense, resigned to the stroke. I kept up the fight - believing that I can fight this and ultimately win - for so long. Honestly, fighting with that level of strength for ~3 years is above and beyond exhausting.


I haven't given up. Rather, I have lowered the level of fight to a more manageable level, and to be honest to myself, I have reduced my expectations. That hurts more than anything else. In some way, it is like reserving your energy during a race. You need to push yourself at a level that you can handle until you see the finish line in sight, then you run like H E double hockey sticks.


I hope that is what I am doing. I can't see far enough into my heart and mind to determine if that is true just yet. I hope so.


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I think you just have to go with what your gut says you need to do Sherri. I think you have done amazingly well and the 'flattened emotion' my just be a slowed down reaction as you say, and not a lack of fire.


My friends told me today I "looked tired and run down" which probably means I need to color my hair and maybe get a new lipstick...lol.


(((Hugs))) from Sue.

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Please forgive me if I'm way off base, as I haven't gone through what you have, but I do agree that it's exhausting to fight with ourselves. I can relate to not wanting to accept things about myself that I don't like and want to disown, or remove from myself somehow - and if this relates at all to what you're feeling, I agree it's beyond exhausting. I'm told (through therapy) that I have to "accept" all these parts I don't like as part of my identity - that this is "me" rather than "this is because of this" and talk about these parts as if they're a part of someone else. But this feels like admitting "defeat" and accepting myself the way I am when I've been struggling for so long NOT to be how I am - trying to improve and change. I'm told that until I accept how I am, now, there is no moving forward. Again, I don't know if any of this is remotely related to how you feel. I'm still working on this, as you can tell.


About "flat affect," I hadn't really noticed but I admire that you take time before you just react - like I tend to do!



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