Self Imposed

Friday night.

I could be all dressed up with somewhere to go, yet instead it’s Friday and I’ll be home in my jammies by 8pm.

Even though I have somewhere to go. I won’t.

Nine months ago I’d of been outta here, nine months ago I was. I was out at a live music show doing what I love, memorializing ‘the bands’ show.

But instead I am isolating and being reclusive.

I’ve not been able to really talk about this, but right now I seem able. That could all change tomorrow. Stroke recovery is like that, I find myself repeating “every day in stroke recovery is different.’

Isolation

I’ve been an extroverted loner all my life. I’ve always been quite comfortable being alone, most often choosing solitude, yet I had a social side and liked being with people…well most people.

But now the extroverted side of me has apparently disappeared with the brain damage I suffered from the stroke that hit me last October. Being with people I love or even engaging with them on the phone I often find is simply too much. At least for today, and “For Today” is all I can manage.

Social media is the only place and time I feel somewhat comfortable being social, as it were. Knowing I can duck out at any give moment without being seen as rude or someone taking it personal gives me latitude to work with. I don’t feel like I have that option in person or even on the phone. Brain injury survivors tend to be hyper sensitive to stimuli. I am.

I find that I have been using isolation as a way to cope rather than to be overcome by the paralyzing social anxiety that has evolved post stroke, anxiety that will completely derail me, anxiety that is still so new to me.

I think the isolation has been a good coping tool but it’s a slippery slope.

I tried 4 different pharmaceuticals for anxiety only to find that the side effects were too much, Weeks into it I began to realize that I needed time to heal, not more drugs.

Surviving a stroke brings a host of new lessons for life, the learning curves can make a person feel like a first grader all over again. Initially the first six weeks post stroke I was doing wonderful. Part of the recovery assessment in the inpatient rehabilitation unit included a psychological assessment, both the psychologist and Speech Therapist told me I appeared to have a good handle on the traumatic (stroke) event. I was obnoxiously happy despite having had my life turned upside down.

Yet, coming home was another thing,

Despite being happy to be home, finally, there was still ambiguity. One of the things I found most intimidating was trying to resume some sense of a structured life again at the mercy of stroke survival.
Physical recovery was trying enough to structure at home and though the Rehab Unit had prepared me well by creating a exercise program to continue at home the mental and emotional recovery were a whole different thing. I found right away that I had become weepy, wordless, and my frustration and tolerance levels were scraping the barrel bottom. The normal social butterfly side of me is now MIA.

It’s all been just too much. I stopped taking phone calls. I stopped having visitors. I purposely allowed my world to shrink. Isolation is not always a good thing but it can have its benefits when used appropriately.

Causing people I care about to worry is NOT A GOOD THING. Nor is not nurturing relationships.

Yet, i’s been healing. It’s been good. For me.

(On a personal not; I’m beyond grateful for everyone who understands and knows that it’s not personal. Thank you )

©ttaylor2019

4 thoughts on “Self Imposed

  1. Toni
    Dear Sister Love
    Thank you for sharing your journey with us ~ I think your blog will not only help you on your road back to you…but, it also helps us to understand your journey
    I agree with what Josephine wrote above ~ “”I think souls love ❤️ through vibrations and that needs no words —- just spirit.””
    You help us to understand your trials & what a long & difficult road you are on.
    Many of us are not even familiar with people in a post stroke stage of there lives. I only have one experience with stroke to a family member & that was so long ago ~ I was only 12 years old at the time….my grandfather…
    I thank you for sharing & allowing us to share your journey with you
    Know that I will always love you ~ you are forever in my heart & spirit & a part of me. Know that I have your back & my ears and shoulder are yours also
    Love to you my sweet soul sister
    Moe

  2. Hi sweetheart Toni.
    This is so beautiful and so healthy for you to be telling your story. I will love you inside your shell of cope my dear one. I will love you energetically wherever and however you feel safe.
    I love reading your story of progress and I feel connected to you same as always.
    You do you. I love you doing do.
    I think souls love ❤️ through vibrations and that needs no words —- just spirit.
    Vibrations of spirit love to you beautiful one.
    Love
    Jo 💜💜💜💜💜💜💜

    • My beloved Jo,
      you continue to touch my heart on such a soul to soul way.
      You know as writers we process with written words, somehow managing to not only find pieces to our puzzle but to find where they fit.
      I think our hope then is that we will touch on some aspect with another.

      Thank you for not giving up on me. We definitely love via our vibrations. ❤

You are most welcome to share your thoughts, comments, and/or complaints here. Know though complaints are only handled on the 2nd Tuesday of the week.~ The Management

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