As St. Patrick’s day is upon us, and four leaf clovers and leprechauns decorate the ins and outs of our communities, I found myself questioning how the word “luck” could possibly be applied to those in our Aphasia community. Seems like a stretch, doesn’t it? I’m 30 years old, in the prime of my life, and I’ve had a stroke and now have Aphasia. I can no longer read signs or order my own coffee, let alone hold a job. Or I’m 70 years old, just at the start of my retirement, and now I am hemiparetic and have trouble communicating, making those travel plans I had with my wife seem near impossible. So how can we possibly discover luck in all this misfortune…how can we turn lead into gold?
The way we respond to our misfortunes, the way we handle those things that we cannot control, can have a huge impact on creating positivity and finding that silver (or why not gold) lining in our life experiences. What about a shift in mindset? A shift to realizing how lucky we are that we can still take pleasure in many of those daily things that are actually unchanged. We can still live in the same house, with the same supportive neighborhood of good friends. We can still enjoy time with our grandchildren, and snuggle them when they are sick or scared. We can still enjoy delving into a rich, chocolate dessert while spending time with our significant others, even if the conversation has changed.
We tend to focus on all of those things that are different and that we can no longer do, but what about all those things we still CAN do? And what about the gift of experiences or people that we have received because of this tragedy? What about the group of people we may have never met if we hadn’t experienced this traumatic event in our lives? What about the new hobby you picked up, and likely never would have considered before, which you’re not only quite good at but find to be therapeutic for your mind and soul.
Let yourself feel sad, get control of what you can control, and then aim to be RESILIENT – bounce back and get lucky.
Take control of your recovery and your new life. Those who have found a way to truly LIVE their life with Aphasia, rather than put their life on hold waiting for their Aphasia to go away, are not merely part of the “lucky people” club. They took control, have shifted their mindset, and focused on the here and now, living in the moment, letting go of WHAT WAS and experiencing WHAT IS.
Living with Aphasia can feel like a cloudy day with a storm lurking in the distance…find your rainbow after the storm that leads to that rich pot of gold. Your discovery will undoubtedly pay off.