BEFORE YOU START: Please note that although I currently volunteer for both the Stroke Association and Age UK, the views expressed in this blog are strictly my own. I am not a spokesperson for either (or, indeed, for any) organisation. I am based in the UK and the blog therefore has a UK bias - I've tried to use the Glossary to explain any terms which might be ambiguous, but if you think there is anything I've missed, please message me. Lastly, you'll find typos here, although I do my best to correct them. There are reasons for this, which you'll discover as you read.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Why I blog

I'm involved in an online discussion at the moment. A woman has recently had a stroke. Fortunatley not a lot of damage by the sound of things, although she has noticed inexplicable mood swings.

Emotion is a very tricky thing to quantify. I remember I was a wreck when I left hospital. Just to be able to walk back through my front door again was so significant. Since then, my recollection is that I have got a lot better in all sorts of ways. Many of them are recorded in this blog, which must be very dull for your average reader. But I make no apology for this, as it records what I was able to do, or how I felt about something, at a specific time. For me, this is hugely important because it is strange how the memory plays tricks. For example, I can set myself a goal and faff around trying to achieve it for what seems like a month or so - but sometimes I can check back here and see that, actually, it has been a year!

On the same subject, I was reading the blog yesterday of the woman who has early onset dementia (I've written about her before), and she says that the main point of her writing is to basically give people hope that there is life after diagnosis. I have to say that my own goal is somewhat more selfish, in providing a record for myself. In saying that, I do recognise that the only way out of this is to continually push myself, and if this gives inspiration to some stroke survivors, then all well and good.

Incidentally I've seen a few comments in this woman's blog about how she does inspire people. (I even had one comment once myself about how I was inspirational, although since it only happened once I'd assume I'm not very inspirational 😊). But certainly from my perspective, I'm not inspirational. Lord knows, I have my faults, as my wife will testify! I'm just an ordinary guy who has been put into this shitty situation and is trying, as best he can, to get on with life. So I'm afraid I take words like "inspirational" with a pinch of salt. I mean, people mean it as a compliment, so that's nice, but beyond that... Someone like Anne Frank, for example. I mean, her story brings into sharp focus how terribly human beings can behave towards each other, but this was an ordinary young girl who, along with her family, was attempting to hide from this. Not doing something heroic, but getting by, doing what had to be done. So, someone who has been thrust into a shitty situation and who tried to make the best of it. In her case, by keeping a diary (which was never intended for publication). But, where have I heard that description before? I'm not comparing myself to Anne Frank here, I'm just saying that I appreciate where she's coming from in her diary.

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