Welcome back to the “Healthy Life” podcast. Today I want to acknowledge “self talk”... what it is, and how it changes with our stroke and the importance of acknowledging it and controlling it. This will be covered in a longer sessions and I’ll break it up over several podcasts. But the self talk I’m referring to here, shows itself the outward expression and dealing with grief...
It is my opinion that, after personally suffering a stroke, talking to thousands of stroke survivors, and having hundreds go through my program in China, that we internally deal with grief. Whether we acknowledge it or not we go through a grieving process after we suffer a stroke. We are faced with a portion, and in many cases a large portion, of our body that no longer functions correctly. This causes a period of grief (and begins the self talk) as we begin to realize the extent to which we have been effected. According to Kübler Ross there are 5 stages of grief that affect people facing or dealing with death or deadly disease processes.
Denial is the first of the five stages of grief and it acts to allow us to survive the perceived and actual loss of body function as a result of the stroke. In the “Denial” stage, we often tell ourselves that the world often is meaningless and overwhelming to us. We find so much has changed in a relatively short period of time and to us... the stroke survivor... the continued living with massive deficits seems to make little real or rational sense. We are in a state of shock and denial. We often tend to feel numb as the realities of the deficits begin to surface. The denial and shock can initially help us to cope and make our survival possible.
Denial can seemingly help us to pace our feelings of grief. It is a way of letting in only as much as we can handle. As we begin to understand and accept the reality of the stroke and loss of function we start to ask ourself questions.
Guess what... You are unknowingly beginning the healing process. You are becoming stronger, and the inner talk of denial is beginning to fade in your head. But as you move forward... as each day passes, all the feelings you were once denying begin to surface and become reality!
Anger is the next necessary stage of the healing process. We begin to ask ourselves ... why?
We need to attempt to understand and give ourselves permission to voice the inner frustration and anger we experience. It helps us to acknowledge the “stroke” and what it has done. The more you truly feel it, the more it will begin to dissipate and the more you will heal. There are many other emotions under this “anger phase” and you will get to them in time, but anger is the emotion we are most used to managing. The truth is that anger has no limits. It extends to how you express yourself, not only to your friends, your doctors, your family, yourself and the stroke, but also to God. You may ask, “Where is God in this? How could a loving God let this happen?
Just under the outward and exposed anger is pain, and I’m not talking about physical pain here but emotional pain and sadness. It is natural to feel alone and abandoned, but we live in a society that fears and does not do a good job in understanding outward anger and the inner anger, pain and sadness we feel. Anger is often seen as a “strength” when it’s expressed outwardly. We can see it as an anchor, providing a temporary connection to our physical losses or changes.
You react and get angry at someone, for a seemingly insignificant or little action or inaction. Suddenly you have a structure – your anger toward them. The anger becomes a bridge, a connection from you to them. It is something to hold onto; and a connection made from that anger feels better than emptiness. We usually know more about suppressing anger than feeling and expressing it. But realize this... where there is outward anger... there is emotional pain and sadness.
Most of the time we get stuck here and become depressed and don’t move on. Well that’s all the time we have for today ... I know it’s hard to leave it there but we’ll pick up on this tomorrow... thanks so much for joining me, and remember to acknowledge the grief... the emotional pain and sadness so we can express it outwardly ...please feel free to leave me a message at stroke.global or on Facebook @stroke.global, I see them all and respond.
It’s been a pleasure sharing today and I hope you’ve enjoyed this podcast... we keep it brief so it’s easy to add to your day... we want to thank our sponsor TCM Restoration for helping us provide this venue. Feel free to share this podcast with others, offer your feedback and questions and follow us online on our website stroke.global or on our Facebook page. See you back here tomorrow!