It is almost almost eighteen months further down the road since the stroke. A lot has happened. And a lot hasn't. Yesterday I had one of my “off” moods, the kind I used to have all the time about a year ago. The moods that would make me want to stay under the covers, turn off my phone and just hide out until everything passed. As usual, I have no idea what triggered it. Nothing major happened. I actually woke up in a very good mood and had a great morning. And then, like so many times before, I felt the gathering of the emotional clouds and the slight change in myself. I tired to ignore it and occupy my mind with other things. I cleaned a room. Vacuumed the house. Went for a walk. Watched some videos and even took a nap, but nothing helped in any way and soon, I felt the all consuming mood swing I still don't understand or know what to do with. While I wanted to hide out and avoid people, I decided not to. Everyone could tell something was going on and so I just said I had a bad stomach and left it at that. I don't know how to explain what happens and that makes it all the more frustrating.
To make it worse, when those moods hit, I feel I am back to the beginning. The fear of another stroke, the before and after comparisons. My balance goes and I find myself having to hold onto walls when I walk. My vision makes it hard to read and I find it difficult to concentrate. The mood swings come by very rarely, but the intensity hasn't let up at all. What has changed is now there are people around and it really scares me. I wonder what they will think and how they will react and I find myself getting angry at them for not understanding something I myself don't understand.
The mood has passed now, but not the memory of it or the fear of it coming back. I know it will come back since it always does, but I really don't know what to do when it is happening. I don't know how to avoid it. I don't know what I need to do to get through it faster. Logically, I know what is going on, it is the emotional part that baffles me.
A year and a half ago, I thought this would all be over with by now. I thought I would be back to me but instead I am still discovering who that person is. I still catch myself doing things or reacting in ways the “old” me never would. I mis parts of myself and I want them back. Aside from the ability to feel hot or cold on my left side, I want parts of my personality back. My confidence seems to have gone someplace and I wonder where the guy is that went to Iraq on holiday or did so many other things people said were not possible.
I have written a lot about vulnerability and being out there emotionally and open to things, but so many times I don't know if I really believe it or if I am just using it to try and give some sort of meaning to the things going on around me. I am trying to find an explanation and there just isn't one.
And what really gets me, is that I know how far I have come in the past eighteen months. I have gotten back so much and again, the logical part of me knows this, but the emotions just don't always connect. Kind of like when I get hurt on my left side and I know it should hurt, but I don't feel it. Its both there and not there all at the same time. I am starting to feel like I might be alienating people or maybe just alienating myself and I really don't want that to happen.