Gone incognito, neglecting my blog now for many months.
One of the aspect of awareness of my life post-stroke as of late has been social engagement. A central reoccurring theme I’ve heard ad nauseum is where a survivor is either unable to return back to his ‘old normal’ activities, then cease to engage with others and as a result can’t seem to then gain ground. Can be either due to not being able to physically, or may suffer with the mental side of the equation, such as depression that may or may not stem from the physical side, as one big tangled mess. I can say it does with me.
It’s at times very difficult to deal with as the physical & mental sides battle each other every minute of every day. I find the only way is to do your best somehow to haul yourself out of bed and then doing as much as you can to stay engaged with the world around you at a level you personally can handle. For some, that may entail trying to take a walk or recumbent ride around the neighborhood, join a club or support group, enrolling in a course, setting a goal to travel. I have on my bucket list, Portugal after hearing our good friend, Tess’s awesome travel adventure stories 🙂
If still working age, and are able to return to work, I’d for the most part recommend it, for beyond financially, nothing else to engage socially again. BTW, now realize I had never written a post on my experience with returning to work, so that will be for another time.
Personally, early on, I thought it was more about rehabilitating the physical side of the equation, leading me to mostly ‘ignore’ the mental side. Hind sight, taking over four years to fully realize, more than ever I think it has to be the other way around. Keep up the social engagement, and the very act of will no doubt require the physical recovery to occur. Some aspects I can personally list where I credit how far I’ve come are, first and foremost, my relationship & marriage to my wife, Jeanie, & maintaining friendships and doing better to create new like forming my recent Meetup. Just last night, our best peeps got together for a tremendously fun dinner party with good food, drink, & laughs. I’d certainly credit my return to work to also providing a lot of social interaction, as much as I find it really difficult at times. And, all along it really helps to have a mental health therapist or counselor to provide guidance, especially through the dark & vulnerable times.I personally have had great results limited to talking therapy, having steered clear of more pharmaceuticals.
In closing to summarize, make efforts each day to stay engaged, The physical rehab will follow.