Rick Logan – Invisible Disabilities
I came across a wonderful article today about people living with invisible disabilities. It resonated strongly with me because of the challenges I face daily in my stroke recovery. I don’t think the most challenging aspects of recovery have been those that my friends, family, and co-workers can see, but rather the invisible ones I had no idea existed with strokes.
I had a wonderful loving girlfriend who acted as my caregiver for the first few months. Things were amazing, well beside the whole stroke aspect. As I started to regain my independence little by little I felt a distance growing between us and I couldn’t shake this bad feeling. Instead of talking with her about it I let it eat me alive. Finally after weeks of arguments, tears, worrying and not communicating I told my neurologist I thought something was wrong. As I explained what I was feeling I couldn’t control the tears, much like it had been for weeks now. My doctor told me this was perfectly normal and many survivors have trouble emotionally. In the simplest terms, my chemical balance was off and we needed to regulate it again with medicine and possibly therapy.
I had always been very much insensitive about mental and emotional issues. I thought these were things people could control with sheer determination. Now I understood that was very much not the case. I needed help and I wanted to feel like me again, not this emotional shell of what I once was. Once I finally reached out for help things immediately began to improve. I told my girlfriend what I was dealing with and how I felt, that I just needed time to readjust. I began talking with a therapist about effective ways to channel my emotions in the moment. I began a course of medicine to regulate my hormone levels and started to feel like me again!
For those of you out there feeling down in your recovery know that you are not alone. So many of us feel this way and there is hope. Talk to your doctor about how you’re feeling. Don’t shut the world out but rather explain what you’re dealing with. I found that my love ones were overwhelmingly supportive and understanding and it drastically improved the way they could help. My hope is that you don’t put off your mental recovery. Attack both your physical and mental recoveries from the start and know there are plenty of people out there that want to help.
Good luck! I know you’re strong enough.