Friday, April 24, 2015

all About The Angle

" I just want to be normal again."

Is a lament you would have heard fall out of my mouth if you visited me in rehab at least once.

Most of the time my visitor's response to this statement was, "what is normal?" Or I was told I would find a new normal, a concept I ignored because it seemed so impossible at the time, I felt so outside of myself, I wasn't the person I had been when I walked into the hospital that day, I couldn't function the way I had, couldn't go to the bathroom, shower, or get food for myself if I desired to do so.

Once I was released into the world, I was uncomfortable in public, I was sure everybody was staring at me everywhere I went, why wouldn't they? I walked and spoke funny, obviously I was a freak, so why wouldn't they stare? I did get stares, but why? Was it because of my funny walk or my slurred speech? No, Probably not. I  I got stared at because my discomfort with myself was so obvious to the outside world.

Then three years flew by.

Somehow, without noticing it happening, my new way of life started feeling "normal". Now today, I no longer get stared at in public and why would I? My walk is still not average, my slurred speech is unnoticeable, I think. But my comfort level with all of these things has increased.

Quick story, as I was ringing a customer up at work the other day, the question of what happened to my arm came up, as it often does, I answered honestly, as I always do, this customer started telling me about a new kind of therapy that stroke survivors use to reverse the effects of stroke, making the survivor "normal" again.

As I was listening to this information I would have been desperate for three years ago, all I could think about was the fact that I am "normal" and that this sounded like something I didn't need.

I don't get stared at anymore and  it's because I see myself as "normal" whatever that is, so, in the end it's all about perception, isn't it?

Friday, April 10, 2015


There is an issue I feel needs to be addressed, so here I go:

People use a lot of flattering adjectives to describe me such as, admirable, inspiring, adaptable, strong and inspiring.

Let me be clear here, it is none of my business what people think of me, so if you think these things about me, that's great, but I just want to be honest and up front.

Now, the old, ego maniacal version of me would have basked in the glory of all these compliments, it would have been my fuel.


This new, quieter version is embarrassed by all of this positive feedback, because I know the truth. And here it is:

Deep in the very pit of my lies a scared shitless, confused child, if I am any of those nice things people call me is only because I have metamorphosed into them through a lot of hard fucking work, trial and error and increased self-awareness. I work really hard every day to be honest with myself and to fight my selfish, self involved desires. I am constantly trying to be the best version of myself and to treat the people around me with the respect they are due (something I did not ever think about before).

So if you have said any of those nice things to me, thank you, it means a lot and if I seem uncomfortable with the compliment, it's because I haven't always been any of those things, it is only through a lot of hard work,  extreme determination  and a refusal to give up that I have become all of those things.