The oxygen of sanity results in enscribblements


Mostly, I have not been depressed in this recovery from a stroke. That’s not to say I have been free from demons that continually inhabit your mind, flying in on a self-doubt or just lying like a caterpillar, pupa –like ready to emerge and flap its moth wings in the face of reason.

Everybody does, sometime, I’m sure – I just don’t allow them to take over. Monty Python’s Always Look at the Bright Side of Life isn’t the theme tune to my life. (I couldn’t find the Doris Day cover of the song)

I have already recounted the frustration at the speed of the recovery (Are we there yet?), but so far that frustration has not festered into something I would call depression. I know what that is because earlier in my life there was a period of where I was starved of the oxygen of sanity.

A long time ago, in far, far away place, I was involved in Gestalt therapy. One day while waiting for a session I read a cartoon on the wall – a single frame, but filled with a Where’s Wally/Waldo story that you really had to study to get meaning out of it. In one corner was a figure that asked another:

 “Are you a human has been, or human will be, or are you a human being?”

 I have remembered that cartoon ditty through all the years as a pointer to living in the moment – don’t fret over the past or Russell Grant’s theory of your future – deal with what you have.

When I first woke up in hospital there was a lot of “woe-is-me” I went through when I realised what the stroke had done to me and what was left for me to work with. It was that uphill struggle that probably kept me from the dark side – too much to think about in the “now”.

In writing this blog I am aware, dear reader, of dipping into the past, but I assure you it’s to underline a point, or signpost to where my mind was at the time, or to fill in the blanks about me.

Just about everything I have read about strokes, including blogs, is sugar coated.

Every one performs to their saccharine best, the hospital, medical staff, recovery “teams” and the person having a stroke (bless ‘em) during this brain attack incident. It’s like an American made for TV movie.

I’ve tried to show that all is not roses, that there are thorns too.

Partners “in intent” are Dom and Mindpop (see blogroll); together we tell the unadorned story of a stroke, the resulting devastation and the treatment. What keeps me sane is being to express myself in this blog.

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2 responses to “The oxygen of sanity results in enscribblements

  1. Thanks for the namecheck Lou. I think your approach has been rather better than mine. I think I have more of a tendency to Moan, driven by my loneliness (I think). Your candour about how writing on this blog (particularly) has helped you is much more inspiring to potential writers/survivors who need to help themselves, for that is what I am being continually told – I foolishly thought there might be third party/medical help to get through this, but this is one of the most therapeutic routes.

  2. Never saw that Monty Python video before. How did I ever miss that one?!

    I have had my share of depression related to life events but if I didn’t keep pushing forward I don’t know where I would be today. I guess I am, at least a the moment, embracing the concept that I should act like I want to be.. a happy, cheerful well rounded person. I do have a social worker /therapist who has heard a whole lot of my dark side and a poor tolerant husband that puts up with a lot. My daughter says I am good at “compartmentalizing”. I am giving your post some thought. I might just have to watch out for the saccharine in my life.

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