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23 Jan 2010

Post 179: Gavin & Psychology

I have just polished off one of the main reasons I look forward to the weekend, an awesome Omelette cooked for me by one of my housemates (and main carer) Mariusz, the man is a trooper and since him and his girlfriend Ilona have taken over the running of the house and the looking after of me, life has improved, it's still sh*t because sadly that's how I feel but it's less sh*t.
On the subject of Omelettes, I invested in the boxset of Gavin & Stacey this week because DVD watching has to feature highly in the life of the chronically fatigued housebound stroke survivor. I have to report that it is excellent so far (after 1 and bit DVDs) and can see why it has won so many accolades. Co-writer and star James Cordon is clearly a genius and sports his extra flab with pride, he must be an inspiration for fat people the length and breadth of the land! The girl who plays Stacey (Joanna Page) is adorable, especially for her sweetness and naivety as well as for her beauty. Sweetness; an undefinable quality should always come first in any judgement of a girls attractiveness. It just does. It can be told almost instantly, preferably from meeting someone face to face but it can be approximated from a photo or the way someone writes, I'm no psychologist but I hope this makes a little sense. This gist follows from a book I listened to after a recommendation from my sister (still obviously remembering some of her university psychology) of a book called Blink about how the human brain makes the majority of it's decisions about a person or thing milliseconds after first encountering it, basically, the science behind the first impression, and how first impressions are often right, I used to work for a man who we called 'Psycho' both because of his name and personality who always used to say 'my intuition tells me' and we used to (carefully) take the piss out of him largely because it was our job to prove (with numbers) which way decisions should go. On several occasions Psycho used to ignore what we said and go with his 'intuition'. I'd like to say hard numbers were always right but they're not, sometimes you have to judge a book by its cover. Christ, I once bought an Iron Maiden album because I liked the artwork, but some things are beyond help! The intuition and the first impression are powerful things though, and me knowing this is one of the reasons my self confidence since my stroke is so cripplingly low, because the physical impression I must make these days is RUBBISH, but I hope there's more to me. As part of one of the first assignments on this writing course I had to write a few hundred words on why I wanted to be a writer and what I hoped to get out of it, I'm sorry if this is boring but I reproduce it here because typing is such bloody hard work.

My aim is to become some sort of writer to give me something to do, give me some purpose and validation in life and hopefully some sort of income.
I never felt I'd ever be scrabbling around like this looking for something to do but that all changed on December 25th 2005 when I had an almost fatal stroke after a weakness I'd been born with and didn't know about exploded in my brain stem. I was in a coma for three weeks and was lucky to live, I spent two and a half years in various London hospitals (which was like being in hell) and I am now living semi independently in a house of my own in south West London ( I have housemates that double as carers).
I do appreciate how lucky I am to still be alive and to have this opportunity to live a fairly comfortable existence but let's face facts, I am single, lonely, clinically depressed 32 year old man. I used to have (what I considered) an interesting, full, independent, happy life. Now it is in tatters! I can't walk independently, I have limited control and feeling in my left side, my eyesight is ruined forever ( my vision is weird and ethereal with intermittent double vision, I can only read text in big fonts (30+)), I have to type with one finger, I can't travel independently, my voice is strained and robotic, I can't control my facial muscles so I am convinced I always look strange and the final slap in the face is that I have chronic fatigue which means I have to deal with all these disabilities through the permanent fog of fatigue, no matter what, I always feel unwell/exhausted.
Since the latter days of my time in hospital (early 2008) I have written a blog as a sort of cathartic outlet www.survivingastroke.blogspot.com as a place to put my thoughts and diarise some of my experiences. It is the writing on this that has led some of my friends and family to encourage me to write and I hoped that this writing course would help me to crystallise and focus any underlying abilities I have. The aim is to become some sort of writer in the long term in whatever form that takes. I need some sort of long term purpose back in my life, my short term one seems to be doing as much physical therapy and walking therapy as my body will tolerate (it feels like torture), so becoming a proper writer would represent a big step forward in achieving a half-decent life again.

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