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September 12, 2012 rocked our world. My soul mate had a stroke that left him in the hospital for a month, and in physical therapy for many more months afterward. It left him without feeling in the left side of his body. Well, except for pain. Excruciating pain called thalamic pain syndrome. It left us navigating months of major change in our marriage and family life. And because I've never been good at handling change, especially one of this magnitude, I found myself in a sad and lonely place. I went through all the stages of grief and settled somewhere in a neighborhood known as Comfortably Numb. Not a great place to live.
I'm happy to say, after three years and two months of struggling in this state, I'm starting to climb my way out of the deep, dark hole I let myself fall into. It's taking daily effort and I'm sure I will still have days I struggle, but I am embracing the fact that I'm beginning to feel like "me" again. And that's a wonderful feeling I wasn't sure I would ever experience again.
That's why I've been absent from my little online journal here.
Sure, I realize there are worse fates in life, I don't discredit those going through them. This is just my reality and I'm ashamed to say, I haven't handled it as well as others handle things that happen to them that are so much worse.
So, now I'm ready to write. To get it off my chest. And share what I'm doing to take baby steps back to more balance and normalcy in my life. Our new normal. Maybe in baring my soul, (which I'm not really all that good at) it can help someone else going through ______________ (fill in the blank).
I'll be back. But for today, smile. Just smile. Ever so often, I just force my mouth muscles into a smile and just hold it there. Not a creepy, crazy smile. Just a "content with this moment" smile. And surprisingly, it lifts my mood ever so slightly. That can be MAJOR.