18 Jul 2008

Post 56: Why I write this:

I've been meaning to try and write this blog post for a long time but always been sidetracked. Between resting and doing exercises I never seem to find the time or be able to summon the effort, it's simply to try and honestly answer the question, why do I bother writing this in the circumstances when it would (obviously) be a lot easier (and rather less upsetting or effortful) not to. but still I persevere with it, so why on earth do I bother?
Well put simply,for both myself and for the benefit of others. For myself because it gives me some form of outlet, some sort of record of this awful life-changing (or should that be ruining?) experience even though there are large swathes I'd rather forget entirely, I have also treated it as some form of therapy. When people have problems what do they do? They talk about it, I used to do a lot of talking and now there are two problems: No-one to talk to and talking being so effortful which is one of the reasons why talking on the phone is even more dreadful than it used to be. It is unpleasant and hard work for me, oh and let me just mention again that I think my voice sounds retarded. I can't stand the sound of it so I fail to see how someone else could put up with it. I can no longer do mimicry or silly accents which has taken away a lot of my material – heaven forbid this ever happened to an impressionist, I suppose I should be grateful to be able to communicate at all because there are those whose stroke as well as robbing them of that greatest of things, independence, has also robbed them of their power of speech. Having once (at the very beginning) been in the position of being unable to move or speak, I can tell you it is the worst thing imaginable, you feel so utterly pathetic and helpless, anyway not for the first (or the last) time I have digressed. To try and stay positive I often try and use what I call 'the Schadenfreunde method of psychology' © Now, this is not actually me taking pleasure in the misfortunes of others but me feeling slightly less worse because there are other people who have it a lot worse than me. A bit of a 'tried and tested' technique with a new name. It has been used on us since we were schoolchildren. 'Eat your food because there are starving children in Africa' ring any bells? This works to a point when the other persons misfortune upsets you. For example the guy in 'the diving bell and butterfly' was much worse off than me but his condition made me cry. So this technique only really works on hard heartless bastards, something I'm certainly not, at least since my stroke I haven't been, I imagine there are kittens with more mental fortitude. Which brings me back to the reasons for writing this, I think a lot of people have this image of me, negative or positive it doesn't matter which, this blog is an attempt to show people who I really am and how this terrible experience has changed bits of me but hopefully left some intact, I think that having this stroke has been a journey of discovery that I never wanted to take. And I write this for others, mainly to thank the many people who have helped me and it's nice to mention people by name. I learnt this from weddings I have been too and how good you feel if you get a mention in the speeches, I reckon the same is true here which is why I'm going to do it now. I want to thank Vicky Denning for her lovely phonecall a few minutes ago and the brothers Dugdale (Will & Chris) for taking me to the cinema last night to go and see the quite brilliant 'Mama Mia'. It may be a smigeon cheesy, but everyone should see it, it's so uplifting.
One thing this is not, is an opportunity to air dirty laundry, there have been times when I have publicly had a go at people or used certain stories to illustrate points about how I was feeling, to make it absolutely clear, this will never be used unfairly or dishonestly and there is no way anyones confidence will ever be broken. That wouldn't be fair and would probably do more damage to me.

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