The last 18 months have been, at times, frantic, emotional, stressy, tiring, heart wrenching, depressing, and frequently all of these at the same time.
But I survived. Although I don't appear to have moved forward. I have. I've become even stronger. Become better at looking after myself so I can continue looking after and helping others and, at the same time enjoying life.
Each time something happened I took it on with a mindset that helped me cope. I decided this myself. There was no magic trick. I just decided that, in order to get through this I just had to be sensible about it. Accept that I would be tired. That it wouldn't be easy and also to accept help when it was offered if I felt it would indeed, help. I also decided when to stop. When to say no. When to admit that I was tired instead of waiting for my body to tell me. All in all I learned a lot about myself and my capabilities and limits and, I think, that's the key.
None of us are superheroes. We are all just ordinary folk trying to get on in life and having to climb over hurdles each day to do so. Sometimes the hurdles look like mountains and sometimes not. Sometimes we climb over them sometimes we walk around them and sometimes we don't.
It's important to find what your limits are so that you stop BEFORE you overstretch them. If you know when to stop you're better placed to decide when to start again. And that's another key. Starting when YOU'RE ready.
As one extra task is added to your list it's easy to forget the one you were concentrating on. So unless the new task takes priority register it, then put it down and complete what you were already doing. One by one you will get through them.
Another important thing to do is to look at what you have DONE as well as what there is to do. Look at your achievements to help balance things a little. Do this at the end of the day and you will sleep well, another important factor.
If you were training to run a marathon would you quit as soon as you did your first mile? No! Despite the pain, the sweat given, the aches and pains you would accept that, in order to be able to run a marathon you have to structure your training to enable the physical change to take place. To start off slowly, with achievable distances and accept it's going to take some time to get the fitness required. At sometime in your training you will suddenly realise your potential. It will become quite apparent to you that it is working. That you will be able to do this and the day of the marathon you will have the strength and confidence to finish what you set out to do.
It's the same for the brain. When I was recovering from my stroke I set myself targets. Achievable ones. Once completed I set some harder ones and gradually my brain got stronger. This helped me cope with all the things going on around me. My father's illness and death were certainly testing but I knew I would get through it. I knew that I would find a way. I believed in myself to do so. In my opinion that one thing is what helped me the most. Believing in myself.
In order to get over any self doubts about my self, and believe me a stroke will certainly cause those questions to appear, I focused on what I'd already achieved. Looking back to see how far you've come is as important as knowing how far there is to go. I decided, again, I DECIDED, to just get on with it.
Make it YOUR DECISION, own it. Be that person you see in other people. The ones you see somehow coping whilst you don't. You CAN do it.
I believe in you, now you try it.